What are the input data useful for sizing the partitions of a cabin (soundproofed or for soundproofing) ?
The input data useful for sizing the partitions of a cabin - construction specially designed to protect people (e.g. machine operators) from ambient noise, consisting of a fully enveloping structure - are mainly the level of acoustic performance required by frequency (insertion loss, residual sound pressure level) and also - where appropriate - the existence of additional constraints such as the possibility of disassembly, the transportability, the reaction to fire, the need for the partitions to provide thermal insulation, or to be translucent to allow the vision etc ...
In case of constructions located outdoor, resistance to wether and to corrosion must also be taken into account, what may affect the definition of appropriate construction systems.
Other parameters may be involved such as the authorized mass, the required longevity or the available budget.
Whether control and monitoring cabins, or fixed booths for operators or even cabins mounted on vehicles are concerned, the sizing of the partitions must account the needs in terms of sound reduction (this is to the ability to oppose the transmission of noise), the effects of amplification of sound levels related to the existence of the cabin itself - specific constraints related to the acoustic comfort (speech intelligibility) and to the livability (visual aspect) inside may necessitate the use of particular absorbing linings, for walls, for ceiling or even for the floor - and also the needs in terms of accessibility whose effectiveness depends on the airtightness (rotating doors, sliding doors) and also the needs for air circulation (ventilation), the needs in terms of cuts for ancilliaries (cables, ducts, pipes ...).
These various input data are necessary for the selection of products and construction systems appropriate to the acoustic performance required for the partitions of a cabin depending on the acoustic performance and on the respective area of its various subsets: acoustic insulation panels for facades, roof and floor where necessary, access, glass frames, silencers, cuts and openings.
Which metallic sound insulation panels for a cabin (for soundproofing or soundproofed) ?
With regard to metallic sound insulation panels (also called soundproofing panels) used for current applications in industrial soundproofing such as building a cabin - construction specially designed to protect people (e.g. machine operators) from ambient noise, consisting of a fully enveloping structure -, they generally consist of an outer casing (usually made of non-stainless steel, most of the time: with paint) and of an absorbing filling (quite often: mineral wool) covered by a surfacing (mostly: a fiber glass) and also a perforated protection (mostly: galvanized steel). For the outer casing, a powder coating usually provides the best possible protection against corrosion: classification up to C5 according to ISO 12944.
In some cases, the envelope of acoustic insulation panels of cabins can be made of stainless steel (SS 304, SS 316) or aluminum.
As required, the absorbing filling may consist of acoustic foam or polyester wool and, for some applications, be protected by a waterproof surfacing (polyurethane film and for extreme cases: painting).
In order to increase the sound reduction index in a given frequency range, an intermediate plate (usually made of steel) and an additional spacing absorbent layer may be inserted into the acoustic insulation panels, the performance of such insulation panels being based on the double shell effect.
For specific cases, a damping material (viscoelastic) can be incorporated.
Acoustic performance of sound insulation panels for cabins (in terms of sound reduction index) is very frequency dependent, being related mainly (besides the quality of the joint between panels basing their airtightness ):
- for panels with simple shell effect: mainly to the total mass density
- for panels with double shell effect: mainly to the mass density of each of the facings and to their spacing (the mass density of the inner absorbing lining may also be accounted if significant)
The prediction of acoustic performance of the partitions of a cabin can be performed with the simulation software SILDIS.
The verification of acoustic performance of the partitions of a cabin can be conducted in accordance with ISO 140-3 Acoustics - Measurement of sound insulation in buildings and of building elements - Part 3: Laboratory measurements of airborne sound insulation of building elements
Which performance in terms of sound insulation for a cabin ?
The performance in terms of sound insulation of a cabin - construction specially designed to protect people (e.g. machine operators) from ambient noise, consisting of a fully enveloping structure - is very frequency dependent and is primarily related on the one hand to the performance of acoustic insulation panels (characterized by their sound reduction index) and also where appropriate to that of the silencer (for ventilation) and also to the number and to dimensions of cuts and openings, and on the other hand to the sealing imperfections and to structure born (bridging) sound transmissions.
This performance can be expressed in terms of difference (with and without the cabin) of overall A-weighted sound pressure levels or of sound pressure levels in octave bands at specified locations (such as maximum value at 1 m from the walls of the cabin, average value inside the cabin, value at a workplace) - also known as acoustic pressure reduction -.
For orders of magnitude (and with respect to a noise spectrum like "pink noise"), a level difference of up to 10 dBA can usually be obtained without special requirements, while a level difference from 10 to 20 dBA requires a standard cabin without important leakage, while a level difference of 20 to 30 dBA requires a standard cabin with sealing joints carefully implemented, a soundprrofing floor and a resilient mounting (cabin with a vibration control system), and while a difference of 30 to 40 dB involves high performance booths carefully designed and installed (a level difference even higher shall involve a special construction).
The prediction of acoustic performance (for airborne sound) of a cabin can be performed with the simulation software SILDIS.
Verification of acoustic performance of a cabin can be conducted in accordance with ISO 11957 Acoustics - Determination of sound insulation performance of cabins - Laboratory and in situ measurements
Which ventilation for a cabin (for soundprrofing or soundproofed) ?
The design and implementation of a cabin - construction specially designed to protect people (e.g. machine operators) from ambient noise, consisting of a fully enveloping structure - being efficient in terms of sound insulation makes it necessary to involve constructions often very airtight and often having moderate heat loss.
The ventilation of a cabin is related to the need for health air renewal ventilation for the occupants and may contribute to their thermal comfort (in summer: if the air introduced into the cabin is fresh enough, in winter: if the air introduced into the cabin is warm enough).
The required ventilation flow rate is related to the number of occupants, to the potential thermal disspation of equipment installed inside the cabin (lighting, computer equipment ...), to the performance in terms of thermal insulation of the partitions of the cabin and to the acceptable inlet temperature gradient (difference between the temperature within the cabin and the temperature of the air of the ventilation system). The existence of a ventilation system in a cabin usually leads to the need to implement silencers (one for air inlet and one for the air outlet to limit the propagation of noise through these openings) and sometimes to have to silence the fan (especially for the acoustic comfort of the occupants of the cabin). The installation of booths in some particularly hot environments (in relation to climate, or due to the presence - close - of sources of heat like an oven or due to the existence of certain processes in the paper industry, the cardboard industry or glass manufacturing for example) may necessitate the implementation of air conditioning equipment.