If you find yourself in a position where you can’t tolerate the sound of road traffic, rail noise, noisy neighbours, or other sounds associated with a busy and lively street, and moving is not an option at the moment, then soundproofing your doors and windows may be the only way to find some peace and quiet.
Most window and door manufacturers today offer custom products with enhanced sound insulation for new and replacement applications. All windows and framed doors offer a certain degree of soundproofing, but whether the level of sound control is adequate or not depends on various factors including:
Volume of gas between glass panes,
Unfortunately, any failure in one of these design factors automatically results in the failure of the soundproof barrier to deliver sound control to the desired specification.
Glazing used in windows is quite thin and ineffective as a soundproof barrier. But for improved thermal efficiency, insulation, and sound reduction, manufacturers offer glazing with two or more sheets of glass.
For custom-made windows, the thickness and amount of glazing used depends on the extent of noise reduction desired, as well as the origin of the sound. In addition, each glass pane in a soundproof window or door features a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) coating that forms a strong hydrocarbon bond with the glazing unit.
The lamination helps to improve noise reduction by decreasing the elasticity of the glass and providing another layer of noise dampening. It also dramatically increases the strength of the glazing for extra security.
Volume of Gas Between the Panes
Double and triple glazed windows usually contain gas sealed in between them for improved thermal efficiency and noise reduction. If a glass pane vibrates due to sound, it causes the gas within the volume to compress and transmit the vibration to the other pane. The smaller the volume of gas, the greater the compression applied to the gas and the vibration transmitted to the second glass pane.
Increasing the gap means more gas volume, less compression, and less transmission of sound between the panes. Ideally, air leakage through a soundproof window or framed door should be zero for optimal thermal efficiency and sound attenuation. However, most designs specify 0.1% to 0.3% air leakage, which though negligible, is necessary for minimal air exchange, to allay health concerns.
The amount of window glazing and volume of gas between the panes are two of the most important factors for noise reduction in window and door installations. But it is just as important to use the right seals to reduce gas leakage, choose the right frame material, and ensure proper installation, for optimal performance.