Architectural Products Building Materials
Written by Kent Damschroder

Metal as an Architectural Acoustic Choice

Metal may not be the material that comes to mind in regard to acoustic management, but there are a variety of innovative products in this category which can be applied to ceilings, walls, and floors. Perforated metal is one type of product designed to absorb sound and reduce noise. Perforated metal reduces noise by dispersing it. It is especially effective for buildings in commercial districts.

Architectural Products Building MaterialsSound absorption is not a new problem nor is it a new concept for architects and builders. The type of material used to absorb unwanted sound varies and some are more effective than others. Generally speaking, flat, non-porous materials are less effective dispersing sound and tend to reflect sound rather than absorb it. These types of materials include tile, concrete, and brick.

Porous or textured materials are commonly used to disperse sound and traditionally foam padding and carpeting were used for this purpose. Newer solutions for noise problems include perforated metal panels. These panels are not only effective, but can be used for indoor or outdoor applications.

Some of the most common indoor and outdoor uses for perforated metal materials include near roadways, factories with noisy machinery, and concert halls.

Perforated metal panels are made from a variety of materials including stainless steel, aluminum, and cold rolled steel. Sheets of thin, flat metal are textured or stamped by machine to create a panel of holes.

There are several methods of creating the perforations. One of the most common is using a roller. The metal is attached to a roller and a cylinder with pointed needles punches holes in the metal as it rotates. Various size holes can be created using this method.

Another method is die and punch. Like the roller method, a perforated roller is used to continuously punch holes in the sheet of metal. Unlike the previous method, the pieces remaining after the puncturing process are sheared off and the surface goes into a smoothing process.

A more advanced and modern method of perforating metal is using a laser. Laser perforation is very precise but is the most expensive process. There is a higher level of consistency and control over the size and pattern of the metal. There are other types of metal acoustic designs including woven wire mesh.

Midlantic Sales Group represents manufacturer Hunter Douglas by CertainTeed, who use a range of metal products to meet acoustic needs. Contact Midlantic today and speak with one of our representatives.