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Using Acoustical Performance Testing to Improve your Products

As your industry advances, customer’s expectations also advance, requiring an improved and more efficient product available in the market. Acoustical performance testing is a vital tool to ensure end-user satisfaction with your window, door, or wall system.

There is a growing interest and awareness in acoustically-rated products. In many cases, ratings are required to ensure customer satisfaction with noise insulation from increasing environmental noise pollution, such as:

  • Highway noise
  • Airport noise
  • Road construction
  • Noise involved in apartment or condo living
  • Noisy neighbors
  • Buildings mechanical noises
Case Study: Improving STC Rating of Double Hung Windows

In a recent case study involving a double hung window, our engaged experts developed a solution to increase the Sound Transmission Class (STC) Rating of the window and improve the end-user satisfaction. In this study, the window had a target STC of 30, however, validation test results were showing an STC rating of 25. Understandably, our customer desired to determine the root cause of the lower rating as well as implement a solution to ensure their product performed as anticipated. 

As a first step in this process, our experts set out to determine why the window under-performed in the initial acoustical performance testing. The first step was to measure the glass in use and determine if the combination of the glass and airspace was sufficient to meet the STC requirements. In the case study, the client was using a ¾” overall IGU with a glazing makeup of 1/8” exterior lite – ½” airspace – 1/8” interior lite. 

It was determined that this glazing makeup could have been sufficient to reach the targeted STC Rating. Given this, our experts then performed a simple listening test to identify any leaks. Through this further inspection, it was determined that the weather-stripping in the meeting rail was actually insufficient, thus allowing noise to easily penetrate the partition. Our experts recommended a different type of weather-strip and that it may be necessary to increase the mass of the glass.

Figure: Graph of Test Results, the STC was significantly improved
Results
Upon retesting the window using the higher profile weather-stripping at the meeting rail, a higher STC rating was attained as shown in the test results (figure above).
Element can also help you through your product validation testing programs by not only providing testing services, but also consulting and troubleshooting any unexpected test results to uncover potential defects and ensure your products perform as expected in the field.

For more information, please contact us or call US +1888 786 7555 or UK +44 808 234 1667.

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