In general, acoustic panels can be split into two categories: diffusers and absorbers. The difference between these two types lies in how they affect the sound waves that strike them. When sound waves hit diffusion panels, the sound wave is split into dozens of smaller waves that travel in all directions. This has the effect of dispersing the sound evenly throughout the space but not reducing the amount of sound energy that is present. Because of this, diffusers are often used in concert halls and other venues where it’s important for everyone in attendance to be able to hear what’s going on.
The other main type of acoustic panel is what’s known as absorbers. When sound waves hit this type of panel, some of the energy of the wave is absorbed, causing the sound to lose volume. While this effect can be achieved in a number of ways, one of the most commonly used techniques to create sound-absorbing panels is to take a material and punch it full of small holes to create perforated acoustic panels, as our team at IPS Perforating, Inc. does. Essentially, when the compressed air of a sound wave hits the tiny holes in perforated acoustic panels, each hole siphons off a portion of the wave’s energy until it doesn’t have enough to reflect away from the surface anymore. The perforations are, in effect, breaking the single sound wave into many smaller ones–waves so small that they lack the energy to bounce back out of the hole.
We hope that the information in this article has been helpful. If you are interested in perforating your acoustic panels, we encourage you to give us a call.