Soundproof glass, commonly known as acoustic glass, is simply a type of laminated glass created by laminating layers of glass with a PVB or polyvinyl butyral interlayer in between. This interlayer connects the glass layers, giving the glass the appearance of a single pane. In addition, the PVB interlayer serves as an acoustic layer with excellent sound-absorbing capabilities.
The special PVB membrane, located at the center of the glass, may stop sound frequencies from vibrating through the glass. Additionally, you may add thick soundproof glass based on the level of soundproofing your home requires.
Soundproof glass windows will help in noise reduction and provide additional sound control. Windows made with soundproof glass eliminate up to 90% of all the external noise that comes through your windows and doors. They are acoustically engineered and are most cost-effective compared to new replacement windows.
There is specialized acoustic glass for outside windows, even though acoustic glass may also be used for internal glass partition walls to provide excellent soundproofing. This ensures seclusion in individual offices, boardrooms, and conference rooms and reduces noise in hallways and open floor plans.
Soundproof Glass Basics
Soundproofing doesn’t mean that you will eliminate noise to 100%. This is a challenging goal to achieve unless you use commercial grade soundproof materials in all parts of the house.
Soundproofing means reducing noise to about 90-95%. Some sound may manage to pass through the materials you use, but your space will be much quieter and peaceful. Most soundproofing solutions take care of mid to high-frequency sounds.
You can successfully muffle human voices, car hooting, and other high frequency sounds with most soundproofing materials. Low-frequency sounds are harder to deal with. To successfully tackle these frequencies, here are the five soundproofing principles that you must fulfill.
Mass & Absorption
Mass makes it harder for sound to penetrate through any material. This means that the thicker your material, the better it is at soundproofing. Some surfaces are good at soaking up the energy in the sound wave. The sound will have significantly reduced by the time it goes through such a material.
Mechanical isolation & Conduction
Mechanical isolation creates a space between materials. Thanks to this space, sound waves are forced to travel through the air and lose some energy. In the case of conduction, soundproofing helps reduce the transfer of sound from one material to the other. A dampening material is placed between these materials to reduce the sound waves that pass through them.
Resonance Dampening reduces the sound’s magnitude. Such materials convert sound energy into other energy forms.
Types of Soundproof Glass
There are two types of soundproof glass available on the market today. We have the double-glazing soundproof glass that combines insulation and soundproofing properties and the laminated glass type that combines security performance and soundproofing.
Pairlex Soness Neo
Pairlex Soness Neo is an innovative double-paned window that prioritizes soundproofing qualities. The glass is comprised of panes of varying thicknesses, which may provide a greater level of soundproofing by infusing the inside area with a specialized gas.
In addition, this product has the same superior heat-insulating properties as standard double glazing.
This is a type of tempered glass where a distinctive resin interlayer is inserted between two pieces of glass, which are pressed and heated together.
How Does it Work?
Most soundproofing solutions reflect sound to the outside, so not much of it gets to the house. Things are a bit different where soundproof glass is concerned.
On its own, glass is a poor soundproofing solution since it vibrates when it comes into contact with sound waves. Most of these waves reverberate while others pass through the glass. To soundproof glass, manufacturers employ a variety of tactics. These include:
Thick materials tend to be better at reflecting or absorbing sound waves. Manufacturers add some mass to the glass to make it thicker and enhance its soundproofing ability.
With thick glass, the sound waves dissipate on the glass surface, reducing the noise that gets through it. Soundproof glass manufacturers have to balance the thickness to ensure that they do not increase coincidence frequency. Glass can amplify sound, which is the last thing you want when you are looking for a soundproofing material.
Using Plastic Laminates
When added to the glass, plastic laminates make the glass more rigid, which reduces the vibration. With reduced vibrations, the glass will handle noise from outside better.
Some manufacturers add a plastic layer between two glasses. The plastic layer adds to the firmness, reduces vibrations, and makes the glass more durable. Different materials can be used for the plastic layer.
- Polyvinyl butyral– This is a resin that comes with superb sound dampening abilities.
When combined with glass, this material blocks sounds between 1000-3000 Mhz, the most sensitive frequency range for the human ear.
- Micro-rubber spacers create a barrier that cuts down the sound that gets to the window frame.
When fitted right, the barrier between the seal and window can take care of most regular sounds.
Using Multi-pane Technology
This technology aims to create a vacuum between two glass panes. This means that a good part of the sound is stopped at the first layer, and the vacuum absorbs any remaining sound waves. Soundproof glass made using this technology delivers excellent results. The effectiveness increases with the gap created between the layers.
Benefits of Installing Soundproof Glass in Your Home
It seems logical that noise reduction is the most crucial advantage of acoustic glass. Soundproof glass for windshields helps prevent exterior noise from entering a vehicle or machine.
Two panes of glass are laminated with a noise-blocking PVB (Polyvinyl Butyral) membrane to create acoustic glass. The membrane absorbs high-frequency sound waves, preventing them from entering the car cabin via the glass. Those who like a calmer trip will benefit from acoustic glass.
Additionally, using soundproof glass for your windows can reduce noise levels by up to 95%, eliminating your noise problem to manageable levels.
Improved Safety and Security
Compared to annealed glass, laminated acoustic glass is sturdier and more durable. As soundproof glass contains an inner PVB interlayer which is not readily broken. In the unlikely event that this type of glass does break, the glass shards remain adhered to the PVB layer and do not shatter, providing the glass with a web-like look. As this glass doesn’t quite shatter and fall apart, you are less likely to get injuries from the sharp glass fragments.
Since laminate soundproof glass is tougher than standard glass, it makes it impossible for burglars or thieves to gain access to your house. Hence you rest assured that your house is safe from burglary or them.
Choosing soundproof glass with a Low-E coating will allow you to maintain a perfect temperature in your home. By opting for a Low-E coating, the soundproof glass may perfectly insulate the inside of your home.
Your windows’ low-E coated-acoustic glass keeps the interior cool throughout the summer by reflecting the sun’s heat. These window panes keep heat from escaping during the winter, maintaining a warm atmosphere. Consequently, your demand for artificial cooling and heating systems will decrease, resulting in lower energy costs.
Soundproof glass can enhance your health by reducing nerve-jarring decibel levels and shielding you and your family and loved ones from damaging ultraviolet (UV). Installing multilayer soundproof glass in your windows and doors protects you from damaging UV rays and solar glare. In addition, installing laminated soundproof glass helps shield your home’s upholstery, rugs, carpets, and other furniture from UV and IR radiation’s destructive effects.
Installation and Costs
Soundproof glass is inserted behind existing windows. However, if it’s new construction, the glass can be installed on its own, just like regular panels.
It is important to note soundproof glass doesn’t come cheap.However, they are a worthy investment for residential and commercial buildings located in noisy areas.
Installation costs differ depending on the location, among other factors.Most wound proof glass manufacturers can make recommendations on professional installers within your area. Most construction workers will have dealt with this type of glass, so you may not need specialized personnel to do the installation.
Just ensure that installation is done right, and no gaps are left in the windows, doors, and other areas that may let noise in.
When to Use Soundproof Glass?
Generally, soundproof windows and doors are used when the most effective noise-reduction option is required.
Incredibly thick acoustical glass windows and doors are perfect for situations requiring a very quiet atmosphere. They are commonly employed in recording studios that require an exceptional level of noise suppression.
Comparatively thinner acoustic glass windows and doors are suitable for residential and commercial structures. Here is a brief rundown of applications that can optimize the usage of soundproof glass:
- Music Rooms
- Recording studios
- Commercial Structures
- Residential Apartments
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.