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How Different Materials Affect the Performance of Your Acoustic Sound Curtain

An acoustic sound curtain can be a highly cost-effective way to contain loud noises in one part of your facility, without disturbing workers in other parts.  While not necessarily as purely effective at noise control as thick walls made of materials like concrete, sound curtains are far less expensive to implement.  Also, they are relatively easy to move around, so they can be repurposed if your building layout or other needs change.

However, one crucial factor to consider when buying a sound curtain is which material is used for the outer layers.  Sound curtains utilize several layers of materials to maximize their effectiveness, but the outer layer determines a lot about its performance – as well as impacting its look and feel.

Here is a quick comparison of the three most common materials used in these curtains.

  1. Solid vinyl (PVC coated polyester)

The most common choice for making sound curtains is solid vinyl.  Vinyl is cheap and easy to work with and is highly effective as an outer sound-blocking layer.  Also, vinyl can be easily colored or painted, so it can match with your overall aesthetic design.  Plus, it’s exceptionally easy to clean, which makes it a great choice for dirtier areas.

The big drawback is that it’s going to reflect sounds as much as absorb them, so it isn’t as effective at reducing noise within a noisy area.

  1. PVC Mesh 

Another solid option is to put a mesh on the outer layer of your sound curtain.  When it’s made of PVC, the mesh will be nearly as strong and durable as solid vinyl.  The big difference is that it will be more effective at absorbing sounds.  The sound waves will pass through the mesh, but become trapped within the inner layers.  So it’s a bit more effective at noise-dampening within noisy areas.

The downside is that mesh is significantly harder to clean, and will probably require a vacuuming.  We don’t recommend it for dusty areas.

  1. Cloth

Cloth sound barriers are excellent at sound dampening.  They don’t just inhibit sound transmission, they also help reduce noise levels through sound absorption.  However, these curtains come with all the major drawbacks of cloth: they’re easy to tear, easy to stain, and hard to wash.  So think carefully about your environment before utilizing a cloth curtain.


Need the perfect sound curtain for your operations?  Contact Goff’s to consult on your options!


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