The first-ever windows with active sound insulation offer much-needed relief to local residents in their homes and offices.
When an aircraft takes off over your roof every five minutes, the noise makes it impossible to hold a conversation. Windows can’t provide adequate protection against this type of noise pollution.
A double or triple layer of glass will absorb the high frequencies, but can do nothing against low-frequency noise such as that produced by aircrafts or thrumming bass tones of disco music. This would normally call for panes of glass so thick and heavy that their use would be almost prohibitive in lightweight constructions or extensive curtain-wall facades.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF and Darmstadt University of Technology have found a solution, namely a new type of soundproof window. “Tests have shown that our windows are capable of lowering noise levels by an average of six decibels at frequencies between 50 and 1000 hertz. The perceived noise indoors is only half as loud,” says Dr. Thilo Bein, who manages the institute’s department of energy, environment and health. “We have even been able to reduce the volume of certain test signals by up to 15 decibels.” The experts have predicted a reduction of up to 10 dB for the engine noise of passenger aircraft in the frequency range below 1000 Hz.
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