The phenomenon of reverberation is causing discomfort in many premises, including schools and especially canteens.
Indeed, the persistence of the sound leads each child wishing to be heard by his classmates to raise his voice (the same goes for the staff of management and service who have no choice but to speak louder than would impose their natural inclination or their reason), the result of which is too often a pure hubbub, which can be translated in scientific terms by a generalized rise in the sound power levels emitted by the sound sources that constitute the different speakers, contributing, all other things being equal, to a rise in the ambient sound level.
The consequence of this outbidding is obviously a poor sound environment since the noise levels are too high and since (therefore) the intelligibility i.e. the degree of comprehension of the verbal messages or any other form (in particular among those affectionate by young students wishing to attract attention) is bad, given the difficulties of perception.
Not only a meal taken together in such conditions loses attributes (including social) that are expected, but in addition, it can be counterproductive (when it comes to regain strength) since it can be at the cause of fatigue for young and old people (which can be doubled in some cases of over-excitement, or even aggression).
What to do then to prevent such disorders or to remedy them?
One should know that the premise often plays an important role in such situations, when the hard walls (not only the floors that are often tiled, but often also the walls and the ceiling, when it does not come to a sub-roofing) reflect the sounds (which are therefore neither transmitted to the outside nor absorbed), which is the origin of the phenomenon of reverberation since these sounds are contained in the (interior) volume delimited by the premise.
ITS participated in the implementation of acoustic panels in a canteen near Agen (Aquitaine region, France).
A principle of acoustic correction avoiding works was chosen, since consisting of the implementation of sound absorbing materials in the form of noise barriers, i.e. screens with a coated metal frame and with, for each of the 2 sides, a lining mineral fiber protected by a fabric resistant to aggressions such as those expected in a place where children can play (cleanability is of course an important criterion when choosing such a lining).
A wide choice of tints allowed the selection for the acoustic panels of colors in line with the other decorative elements of the place, for these soundproofing equipment being efficient (the absorption coefficient is close to 100% at medium and high frequencies corresponding to the human voice), modular and mobile (since on base).
These acoustic panels have contributed to improving the acoustics of the canteen (limitation of reverberation and of spatial sound propagation) and will be reusable in case of modification of the implementation of the tables, or in case of moving.
ITS also markets acoustic panels for applications related to industrial soundproofing e.g. to limit workers exposure to noise.