When we talk about budget-friendly products for acoustical issues, thermocol comes the very first, maybe because it’s cheap, light-weight, and widely available. But have you ever tried to determine how efficiently it works and what’s the soundproofing value of it? You probably not have. Anyway, we will talk about this later in the following sections.
Well, if you landed on this webpage to just address the explanation to the very question (the article title itself,), so the brief and straightforward answer to that is:
Yes, thermocol sheets can be used for Soundproofing, but the results may not be the finest or what you intended off because it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Although, it will cause echoes within a space if you are planning to use thermocol for preventing the sound from leaving a room. However, to be very certain, you cannot use thermocol for Sound Absorption.
Do you know what the difference between both is? Since soundproofing is often used as a general term when it comes to dealing with noise issues, most of us roam around with a misconception in mind that sound absorption is the same thing or maybe the synonym of soundproofing. But that’s not true; it’s just one of the two solutions we incorporate to get rid of the unwelcome noise.
If you don’t know this, then most likely, you are also unaware of your needs for which you’re looking to make use of thermocol. Therefore, it becomes crucial for you to comprehend what really soundproofing & sound absorption stand for before you start sticking thermocol onto your walls.
If you are a complete newbie who’s just starting out and feeling confused or skeptical, fret not, here in this article we’ve gone the extra mile and have dug deeper to find you a way out through this daunting question.
Difference Between Sound Absorption And Soundproofing
It would not be a good idea to blatantly make claims out of the blue, but having a proper understanding of both sides would be helpful for anyone who’s trying to find ideal fixes for noise issues.
Soundproofing is an endeavor to prevent unwanted noise by stopping or blocking it from leaving or entering a room. Typically, the material used for soundproofing is solid and rich in mass because materials with such properties have the tendency to block the sound efficiently.
The products you are using let’s say for soundproofing your room must be dense enough to reflect the sound because it keeps the noise enclosed, whether passing into or out of space.
Soundproofing may or may not be a good solution for you because it really depends on circumstances and individual preference. If you want to block the room-to-room sound travel/disturbance, soundproofing may get you the intended results, but if you are someone who hates echos and reverberations, then you must opt for sound absorption. OR maybe both!
As the very term implies, sound absorption is a method that reduces noise by absorbing it that results in less echo within a space. Contrary to the soundproofing, products used for sound absorption are made with soft material that helps soak up the sound waves and take it in as it encounters a barrier of soft surfaces.
Since sound absorption with compare to its counterpart is a lesser-known term for a majority, we often underrate its effectiveness. For resolving noise issues, blocking it may not be the best solution in all circumstances; thus, there you can make use of materials designed to absorb sound and dampen reverberation.[Related Article: Does Spraying Rubber Soundproofing Reduce Noise Significantly]
What’s the Go-to Solution?
To be very precise, there isn’t any ‘go-to’ solution that fits well for everyone, thus making a bold statement about it could be inappropriate. Both interior acoustic solutions are best suited for different applications and scenarios. The thickness and density of the material predominately influence its ability to block or absorb sound passing through.
So how can you decide what’s the accurate and best way for you to deal with sound problems? We would say it could be done by addressing your needs and determining the efficiency of both methods and materials used in regard to ceasing noise issues.
Furthermore, when you do your research for finding the most suitable way to help you get rid of sound issues, keep this in mind products that block noise, and products that absorb it are subjected to almost different integer rating systems for efficacy.
Noise Reduction Coefficient often abbreviated as NRC, which is the rating given to sound absorption products. And for soundproofing materials, it is STC (Sound Transmission Class.) This is how by taking the rating system into consideration, you can correctly gauge which products would suit you well and are adequate to give maximum results.
These metrics help you determine to what extent a particular material can block and absorb the sound efficaciously. Another critical point to consider is the creative placement, which means how correctly you have mounted the products to helps you hinder noise issues.
Thermocol for Soundproofing
Alright, so now you are well aware of both sides of the noise reduction methods, let’s see if or not thermocol is a good option for soundproofing.
Thermocol is a reflective object which doesn’t possess any sound-absorbing attributes but can be used for blocking noises. It has the property to reflect the sound that can cause echo in your room if you’re trying to block noise within a space. On the contrary, thermocol might be a good option if you want to prevent unwanted sound from entering the room.
Thermocol may not be as effective as other soundproofing materials in terms of sound isolation because it’s still penetrable to sound. However, thermocol sheets with a decent thickness could be of some help contributing to the blockage of noise leakages.
But strangely, thermocol has more downsides than benefits – firstly, you already know that it can cause echoes in the room. Secondly, it’s not good for the environment (non-biodegradable) and you as well (a major fire hazard.)
For blocking noise effectively, what matters is the “mass” of the material that you ought to pay attention to when prioritizing the products for soundproofing. All you need is thick insulating layers that are capable of offering enough mass to walls to eliminate the sound transmission.
Advisably, for soundproofing, one should finalize the products based on the STC (Sound transmission class), which is an integer rating measurement of a sound’s ability to pass through a specific material.
However, choosing the right materials isn’t where your job ends; you also have to ensure that the products you have spent the money on are fitted and positioned perfectly before you expect any results.
Confusion Between Thermocol, Polystyrene & Styrofoam
If you have even done a bit of research on the topic “thermocol for soundproofing,” you might have heard terms Polystyrene and Styrofoam repeatedly.
Thermocol is actually a form of Polystyrene, also knows as EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) – coming from research by BASF. To be clear, thermocol is Polystyrene, but not all Polystyrene is thermocol. Or you can say, thermocol is basically the commercial name for Polystyrene.
Dow Chemical Co. is an American multinational chemical manufacturing company that has a similar product called Styrofoam (a registered trademark brand.) It’s a closed-cell extruded Polystyrene foam typically abbreviated as XPS and commonly known as “Blue Board.”
Chemically, Styrofoam and thermocol are part of the same Polystyrene family with the same chemical formula, but since both have a different manufacturing process, the physical structure also comes different on the other side.
Styrofoam and thermocol also have different physical properties, such as thermal resistance, density, water absorption, compressive strength, etc. However, the latter has a lower cost than the former.
Often these terms get used interchangeably (mainly in the United States and Canada), which can cause a lot of confusion among newbies; therefore, you need to know the difference between them.
Styrofoam Vs. Thermocol – Soundproofing Value
In the above sections, we have already talked about thermocol, let’s elaborate on some facts that state Styrofoam properties as a sound resistance.
Acoustic gurus on the internet have different views and opinions for using Styrofoam as a soundproofing material. Some say it’s not useful or effective if you’re serious about soundproofing your place, while some claim that it sucks.
Interestingly, Styrofoam, compared to the thermocol, gets used more for both household and commercial purposes for soundproofing solutions. The truth is Styrofoam alone isn’t sufficient enough to be called as the best material; however, if molded with or laminated to a denser material, it may notably improve the sound quality.
It can muffle and reduce the unnecessary sound waves coming from outside, and also helps to keep the interior noises from leaking out within the space. As already mentioned, none of the products (thermocol and Styrofoam) are genuinely soundproof materials, but if you use them with denser material, especially having a greater mass to it, you may experience positive results in the sound quality.
Another important point that we firmly believe is worth mentioning – Styrofoam and other Polystyrene foams such as thermocol are highly inflammable and hazardous that can raise some serious environmental concerns as well.
If you asked us, we would recommend purchasing acoustic panels that are specifically designed for soundproofing and are more likely to give intended results.[Related Article : How Soundproof Is Glass As A Material For Noise Reduction]
It’s time to sum this article up with a hope that it has helped you understand thermocol, which often referred to an efficient soundproofing material and other crucial information associated with the use of the product.
Here we also welcome your views, so feel free to make use of the comment box below to share what you think about the facts and research formulated in the aforementioned sections.