How do Soundproof Glass Panels Work?
When you hear the words soundproof panels, the first image that comes to mind is most probably a recording studio, followed by, quiet, relaxing bedrooms consistently filtering out the noisy city life. In reality, soundproof glass panels can be installed for a number of different reasons, and with today's advanced technology they are becoming easier to install and more friendly when it comes to use in residential houses. Even if there are different types of soundproofing glass panels, they all work on the same basic law of sound transfer and the make up of such panels are as follows.
Step 1 - The Physics Behind It
Sound is the transfer of energy from one form to another, usually mechanical waves, through a medium which can be solid, liquid or gas. These waves compress molecules together causing them to vibrate back and forth, while energy waves travel forward. Frequency is the number of waves that pass through a specific point per second and affect the volume of the sound; therefore, the higher the frequency, the louder the sound and vice versa.
Step 2 - Mediums
As previously mentioned mediums can be anything made of solid, liquid or gas. The closer the molecules are to each other, the more they start vibrating and transfer wave energy from one point to another. By definition therefore, sound travels faster through solid and slower through gas since molecules in the later are farther apart.
Step 3 - Double Glazing
Double glazing glass panels are the most basic type of soundproofing. These are made up of 2 panels of glass stuck together with plastic lamination passing between the inner sides of the glass. The plastic lamination in theory prevents the glass from vibrating and therefore stopping sound.
Step 4 - Dead Space Soundproofing Glass Panels
A more effective method is the dead space soundproofing glass panels that employ the use of dead air space between the two panels of glass. These glass panels are still coated with plastic lamination, but, rather than having the glass touching, in between there is an air space which continues in cutting down the vibrations that managed to get passed the lamination. Unlike double glazing, the frame of the inner (soundproofing glass) is not directly attached to the outer glass panel and therefore the frame is also isolated from vibrations.
Step 5 - Spring-Load Seals
Sometimes the frequency of the noise is high enough that it manages to get through the lamination and the air space, making the second frame also vibrate. To prevent the noise from making the frame and the soundproof glass panel vibrate, most modern soundproof panels also come with spring-load seals which definitively prevent the frame from vibrating thus making sure that sound stays out of the room. The spring-load seals work by absorbing the vibrations of the frame and preventing the frame from vibrating itself similar to when you hit a tuning fork and than press your hand around it to make the sound stop.
As noise pollution continues to grow proportionately to the growth of cities, the importance of soundproofing glass panels is increasing and making the transit from industrial use only to residential use as well.