The world can be a very noisy place. There are many industries that have areas that by necessity produce a great level of noise and yet also by necessity have areas close by that must be relatively free of noise. News only recently broke about the overhaul that is going to be given to London’s iconic Big Ben. It needs substantial remodelling of the interior as well as a thorough servicing of the clock. It will take roughly four years to carry out all this work and for the duration (save for New Year’s and some commemorative occasions) the clock will remain silent – not out of necessity, but because of the health and safety of those carrying out the work. If such concerns can mean the silencing of Big Ben, then they should certainly be considered across the board.
While the addition of acoustic doors cannot resolve the Big Ben situation, there are so many sectors which can benefit from them. Acoustic doors are basically designed to reduce the impact of noise on one area to another. There is, aside from a moral duty, these days a legal obligation to minimize the impact of noise on workers and the local environment. Acoustic doors, depending on their specifications, can reduce the noise level in a room by up to around 50 decibels. There are various types of door – each capable of a certain level of noise reduction, but they must be installed correctly to realize their potential. For instance, if there is just a 5mm gap underneath the door after installation of a 45db reducing model, then it will in fact only manifest in a 25db reduction in noise. That is a massive discrepancy and loss of potency, so it is vital that the job is done well.
When choosing acoustic doors you will also probably have some aesthetic concerns – let’s face it nobody wants to look at a monstrosity of a door, no matter how much it is protecting our eardrums. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the company providing the doors has a good range of different designs to fulfil functional and aesthetic desires.
Another important design feature of the best acoustic doors is a ‘non-slam’ mechanism. This is not only desirable from a noise reduction position, but also because slamming an acoustic door (or any door for that matter) can cause stress on the iron. Stress can cause weakness, weakness cracks and cracks loss of noise reduction. This is to be avoided at all costs, so non-slam is the way to go. While acoustic doors are often used in more typical industrial sectors like aviation, construction and manufacturing, there is also a great demand in less obvious areas like education, leisure and entertainment (soundproofing studios for instance), law enforcement (police interview rooms) and broadcasting. There are so many different ever-growing calls for good acoustics and noise segregation, many of which can be met by the humble acoustic door.