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Perforated metal in acoustics: A sound solution

Perforated metal can be a key component when controlling sound. But how does it work? Here’s how architects and designers use perforated metal to manage noise, and some of the key benefits of specifying perforated metal for acoustic applications:

Perforated metal in acoustics - handy tips - Arrow Metal

Different ways to use perforated metal in acoustics

Perforated metal in acoustics is typically applied as ceiling panels, wall cladding, screening and architectural façade to control sounds and noises within residential, leisure and commercial buildings.

Dependent on the acoustic issue, each panel can be designed to help absorb, reflect or scatter sound, or to cut out certain frequencies.

Perforated metal in acoustics - handy tips - Arrow Metal

Using perforated metal to absorb sound

When absorbing, reflecting or scattering sound, perforated metal acts as a protective and acoustically ‘transparent’ covering for acoustic material. As the acoustic material itself is responsible for achieving the necessary noise control, the perforated metal has to be transparent to sound waves, so sound can reach the material behind.

When using perforated metal in acoustics in this way, it’s important to specify a perforation pattern and material that offers the greatest sound transparency, for all frequency levels. This is typically a perforation pattern of lots of small holes, closely spaced, to allow maximum sound to pass through.

This type of application can be used in interiors. It’s commonly seen in offices, hotels, stadiums, schools, leisure centres and industrial work environments, when control of ambient sound is needed. Architects may also use perforated metal in this way, as exterior cladding to block outdoor sounds.

Using perforated metal to manage frequencies

If you want to cut out or reduce a specific problem noise, perforated metal isn’t required to be transparent but has an active role in acoustic control through a resonant sound absorber.

In this type of application, the holes in the perforated metal panels interact with a layer of trapped air, to concentrate the absorbed sounds into a specified frequency range. These types of systems are highly efficient at absorbing low frequency sounds.

Perforation pattern, pitch and thickness of the metal material are crucial to achieve the required result.

Perforated metal in acoustics - handy tips - Arrow Metal

Which metal material is best for using perforated metal in acoustics?

When choosing the material of perforated metal in acoustics, aluminium and stainless steel are the most common choice as they retain strength when perforated, even in the thinnest profile.

Advantages of using perforated metal in acoustics

There are many benefits to using perforated metal in acoustics:

  • Perforated metal is a beautiful solution to sound problems, as it’s aesthetically appealing in a wide choice of designs and finishes, including powder-coated, coloured or metallic coatings.
  • It offers a wide variety of perforation patterns, with many different hole sizes, shapes and pitches.
  • Perforated metal panels for acoustic applications – particularly architectural – can be folded, adding further decorative visual interest whilst reflecting or managing noise.
  • Perforated metal is durable and easy to maintain, without compromising the function of the acoustic material behind it.

Arrow Metal: Proven metal perforation experts

For help specifying perforated metal in acoustics, including open area percentage, speak to Arrow Metal’s specialist team on (02) 9748 2200 or complete our online enquiry form.

Arrow Metal has an extensive range of ready-made perforated metal panels in stock, ready for immediate dispatch to anywhere in Australia, in a choice of popular hole styles, sizes and materials.

Perforated metal in acoustics - handy tips - Arrow Metal

Posted: June 27, 2017

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