Texaa’s new soundproofing acoustic curtains are an exciting addition to the company’s range of solutions. Over and above their ability to absorb sound, they also reduce sound transmission to neighbouring areas by 10 dB. The underlying objective is still the same: to provide the greatest possible freedom in arranging interior spaces. Arnaud Calvet, in charge of materials in Texaa’s engineering department, tells this research and development story.
A closer look at soundproofing curtains
Where did our soundproofing acoustic curtains come from?
From queries raised by designers, as is often the case. When we launched our sound-absorbing curtains about seven years ago, there were also requests for soundproofing drapes. Functionally speaking it’s a different solution, that of enabling users to easily partition off sub-spaces in large areas, and provide them with both visual and acoustic privacy. In fact, absorbing sound reduces its reverberation, while soundproofing aims to prevent noise from being transmitted from one room to another. So, the requests led us to work out how we could add to our curtain range and satisfy this need. We specialise in finding ways to absorb sound, so this was something of a challenge for us. Our learning curve spanned the complete project! We then needed to find a method to measure the curtains’ performance. We developed a system that we called “the acoustic tunnel”, which involves sending a sound into the entrance and collecting it at the exit, with and without a material sample in the middle, so that we can observe the reduction in decibels. The system’s purpose is not to perform reliable measurements, but to enable us to compare a series of materials easily, because the ISO protocol used to characterise final products is far too complex for comparative research work of this type. Our aim was to accomplish a dampening effect of 10 dB, which for the human ear is equivalent to halving the noise perceived. We then had to work on the material that could be used as a soundproofing agent: we were looking for something closed and opaque to prevent the sound from passing through, a non-woven or plastic type of material; in other words very different sorts of material from those used to absorb sound, which are porous.
What were the main challenges?
The tricky part was combining the right soundproofing material and fire resistance properties to be compliant, in a finished product that could be delivered ready to hang, which is rarely the case for solutions like this currently available on the market. The curtain needed to be easy to draw, because the greater the soundproofing properties, the heavier the material. And we needed to maintain the same high quality of appearance and finish as the other products in our range. Our design focus was on soundproofing, but out of the materials that achieved our target reduction of 10 dB, we chose those that enabled us to maintain the sound-absorbing properties of the product. We tested many options to develop the best soundproofing layer for the curtain i.e. that with the best trade-offs of weight against acoustic performance, cost against performance, and sound-absorption against soundproofing properties. The best option turned out to be six thicknesses of microporous film with an Aeria fabric cover. And the soundproofing layer fills the whole area of the curtain, making it sound-tight as required at the top, bottom and on the sides. And, even though we hadn’t expected or planned it, the curtain also provides a slight thermal advantage!
So you succeeded! Just remind us again, what are the main characteristics and advantages of the Texaa soundproofing acoustic curtain?
We ended up developing a curtain that is ready to hang. The complete product is totally fire resistant, and reduces sound transmission to neighbouring areas with a sound reduction index of 10 dB, while being as easy to draw as its sound-absorbing counterpart. Both curtains have the same appearance with the same finishes, they are hung in the same way and are available in the 30 Texaa colours. So, sound-absorbing acoustic curtains can be installed to reduce reverberation in front of glazing, for example, and will be a perfect match with soundproofing acoustic drapes used to partition off sub-areas of a space to create privacy. Finally, just like our sound-absorbing acoustic curtains, Texaa soundproofing acoustic drapes can be joined together using the zip fasteners on their sides to cover wider spans. Our soundproofing acoustic curtains were launched this year, and we already have countless projects underway, and we look forward to receiving feedback from users.
How can I get a quote?
By contacting the Texaa business representative of your region by telephone or e-mail and leaving your contact details and what you need. We will send you a quote promptly.
How can I order Texaa products?
Our products are manufactured in our workshop and made available to order. Just contact the Texaa business representative of your region. If you already have a quote, you can also contact the person handling your order: the name is at the top left of your quote.
How do I get my products installed?
Joiners and upholsterers are the best skilled to install our products easily. We work regularly with some professionals, who we can recommend. If you have a tradesperson, who you trust, we can support him/her. You can find our installation instructions and tips here.
Got a technical question?
Can I have an appointment?
Our business representatives travel every day to installation sites and to see our customers. Please feel free to contact them and suggest the best dates and times for you, preferably by e-mail.
Our products are manufactured to order. Our standard manufacturing time is 3 weeks for most of our products. Non-standard products take from 5 weeks. We also perform miracles on a regular basis! Please feel free to contact us.
Who should I call?
To get a quote, a delivery time or technical information, we recommend you call your regional Texaa business representative, who you can find here.
If you need information about your order, please contact the person in charge of handling it: the name is at the top left of your quote.