Commercial and industrial soundproofing offers a unique set of challenges. As a general rule the areas to be soundproofed are larger and more open. For example, if you are soundproofing a metal crushing machine in a factory setting, you need to deal with the high ceilings and open spaces. If you plan to construct an enclosure around the machine, many times that enclosure will be free standing on at least 2 legs. Also you will want to construct walls that are a minimum of 8′ tall, the higher the walls of the enclosure the better the soundproofing will be. The enclosure will need a gateway or a door where workers will be able to work with the machine as well as maintain it.
If the machine is in a corner, that makes building the enclosure much easier because you would only need to construct 2 soundproof walls for an enclosure.
It is always best to construct an enclosure much the same as building a room around the machine. In other words using metal studs and constructing solid walls that will contain soundproofing agents such as American mass loaded vinyl or the America Mat closed cell foam ma, maybe a combination of both materials.
The mass loaded vinyl (MLB for short would be screwed to the stud structure using self taping drywall screws with washers on them. It is recommended that the MLV be installed horizontally across the studs and that the seams be over lapped by at least 1 inch. You will need to caulk all of the seams as well as the over lap and around the entire perimeter of the vinyl membrane.
Once the MLV is installed and sealed with the caulk, you have the option of gluing a layer of the 1/2″ or the 1″ closed cell foam mat directly to the back of the MLV membrane.
Now the America mat will help, but is not essential to obtain good soundproofing from this system. Once the MLV and the closed cell foam are installed onto the stud framework it is time to drywall both sides of the wall assembly. I would recommend using 5/8″ drywall on both sides of the wall to add additional mass and therefore additional soundproofing to the enclosure.
Finally, when you install your door, you will want to install a solid core door which will help to block the noise from escaping through the door.
Well that’s about it for soundproofing machinery in an Industrial application. I will be writing more on other commercial soundproofing projects in later articles. This is Dr. Bob…Adios!
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