How Does Acoustic Glass Work

August 10th, 2018

As anyone living close to central London, the main road or an airport will tell you, noise pollution is a serious issue. It’s been proven to cause hypertension and the sleep prevention it causes can spill out into your life as levels in concentration begin to dip. That aside it can be particularly annoying when you’re trying to watch a film, or read a book as the honks of traffic and grumbling engines permeate the otherwise peaceful calm of your home.

Whilst it’s one option to move to the woods, miles from any form of noise or society, the less drastic choice is to install acoustic glass, which will keep the noise outside and peace and quiet in.

At acceptable levels, outside noise often reaches around 35 decibels. Traffic can cause a dramatic increase in noise levels and reach around 70 dBs; Living under a flight path can mean excesses of 91 dBs, whilst near the landing, aircraft noise pollution can spike to well over 100.

In some cases the installation of acoustic glass can cut noise disturbance in half, meaning that incessant drawl of cars needn’t echo through your house anymore.

How does acoustic glass work?

Noise is a pressure wave that passes through the air. What acoustic glass does is effectively dampen the strength of this wave, preventing it passing through your house. It does this by employing a separate layer between the two panes.

Utilising Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB), the two sheets of glazing are laminated together, giving them the appearance of being a single pane. This layer of PVB acts as an acoustic membrane, absorbing sound energy and preventing the vibrations of the sound wave actually passing through the glass. As a result, most of the sound is reflected back away from the glass, either back into your property, or kept out on the street.

The noise reduction experienced will further depend upon the pitch of the sound, though under normal circumstances the reduction can be dramatic in regards to traffic, aircraft and rail noise.

However, it’s not just the acoustic glass that is required for effective noise reduction. Many ill-fitting window frames contribute significantly to intrusive noise disturbance. In fact, a gap around the window frame equal to merely 1% of the actual frame size can allow a not insignificant 10 dBs into your property.

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