Are you looking to improve the overall sound performance in your space?
Sound baffles, such as Primacoustic’s Saturna baffles, are acoustic treatment panels that are suspended vertically from the ceiling. To hang these baffles, you typically attach two small-gauge steel cables to anchor points between the panel and the ceiling. Each baffle comes in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit spaces of varying sizes and requirements.
How Does it Work?
Baffles primarily work like other ceiling or wall-mounted acoustic panels. The sound energy penetrates the panel, causing the tiny glass wool fibres inside the core material to vibrate. These vibrations produce friction between the fibres, producing minuscule amounts of heat, this heat dissipates quickly throughout the panel, converting sound energy into thermal (heat) energy. As Einstein said “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”
Why use Sound Baffles?
Baffle acoustic panels have become a preferred option for acoustically treating large spaces with high ceilings because they provide a larger absorptive surface area, require less labor to install, and allow for positioning at various heights. In very tall spaces, it is common to encounter a ceiling made of steel decking or concrete – materials with low absorption coefficients. In other words: they are highly reflective and do not absorb sound well.
These two physical characteristics of a room will increase the amount of time a particular sound will remain audible, even after the original sound source has stopped. As sound travels towards the ceilings, it will encounter these highly reflective surfaces. These building materials only absorb a very small amount of energy on their surface, which allows the sound wave to retain enough energy to continue traveling within the room.
Baffles are particularly effective, as they can absorb both the direct sound from a sound source, and the reflections from ceilings and higher sections of the walls.
Another benefit is that an acoustic baffle hangs within the free space of the room; this is where sound waves travel fastest. Placing a sound absorber in these areas will reduce the sound energy before it has a chance to reflect off parts of the walls or ceilings, especially if you install them with staggered heights. In rooms where mounting acoustic panels onto the wall surfaces may not be suitable, suspending baffles from the ceilings provide an effective alternative.
People often combine baffles with ceiling clouds to create a highly effective acoustic treatment for the ceiling. You should always take care when embarking on this type of project, especially to ensure that you do not violate any fire code regulations. You should always check with your local fire marshal and inform them of what you are planning to install.
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