DESIGN CHALLENGEPoor acoustics are a major complaint in all types of interior spaces. Acoustic panels provide a technical solution but they do not provide an aesthetic solution. Designers need beautiful textile options that are acoustically transparent to allow sound to pass through to the functional core. You also need to know that these textiles meet flame codes, are stable and have been tested under 3rd party protocols for acoustical function.
CARNEGIE'S DESIGN SOLUTION
500+ Panel Choices• All are Class A / Class 1 rated under ASTM E84 unadhered method
• All are NRC tested for acoustical transparency under ASTM C423
• All are composed with yarns that are stable and hydrophobic (resisting moisture)
All Are In Stock - Vetted for panel application - 3rd Party Tested
ASTM E84 (Unadhered Mounting Method) Class A / Class 1
Is a flammability test for a textile intended for use as a panel or upholstered wall where the textile is not glued or bonded to a substrate. The test evaluates how fast a flame moves up the fabric as well as how much smoke is released over a set amount of fabric in a set amount of time. Rankings of Class A/Class 1 are required for contract spaces.
NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient)
Noise Reduction Coefficient rates the amount of sound that an object absorbs. Like a sponge absorbs water, an acoustic product absorbs sound and the NRC tells us just how much sound those products absorb. ASTM C423 is the industry recognized test for evaluating sound absorption of building materials. The test uses a reverberation chamber to determine the rate of decay of sound waves at different frequencies by first measuring the NRC of a standard 2” thick panel material and then repeating the test with the specific textile placed over the panel to assess the combined NRC of the materials.
Blow Through Test is a valid way to evaluate acoustical transparency.
The “blow through test” is sometimes used as a preliminary way to evaluate acoustic transparency. The person evaluating the fabric blows through the fabric and if they are able to feel their breath on the other side, they consider the fabric acoustically transparent and suitable for acoustic panel use.
The reality is that this methodology has no scientific backing. It can be misleading and may not align with actual outcomes of a true acoustical test. Industry best practice is to use fabrics that have been evaluated by a reputable 3rd party with the industry recognized test ASTM C423 and are NRC rated.
Fabrics for acoustic panels should have an NRC of 1.
Fabrics alone typically have a difficult time reducing NRC in a space on their own. When using acoustical panels, it is the acoustic panel material (the substrate), not the fabric that does the job of absorbing sound.
It is the combination of the fabric when covering the acoustical panel that should have an NRC close to/or over 1.0. The textile's function is to look great and allow sound to pass through to the acoustical substrate which does the work.
When selecting fabrics to be used on acoustic panels, the textile should have minimal impact upon the NRC performance of the panel it is wrapped around. The textile should be acoustically transparent and the finished panel should achieve an NRC rating in the vicinity of .90 - 1.05.
If you are evaluating a fabric on its own to cover a panel, look for an NRC between 0 - .25 (lower the better).
The NRC listed reflects the actual results of each textile when used on an acoustical panel under ASTM C423
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