Sound Proof Glass

Introduction to Sound Proof Glass

One of the most prevalent, yet unrecognised building materials is sound proof glass. In reality, all glass panes in windows and doors restrict the transmission of sound to some degree as evidenced by the fact that we often close the windows when there is a disruptive noise outside.

For most commercial applications, regular glass does an acceptable job stopping sound waves from reaching our ears. For those applications that require a truly soundproof glass, there are three ways to achieve total blockage of sound:

  1. Make the glass thicker – sound is transmitted through waves and the thicker the glass, the stiffer it will be, thereby eliminating its ability to vibrate or transmit waves, including sound waves.
  2. Another approach to making glass sound proof is to create a sealed space between two panes of glass. Sound cannot travel through a vacuum, so if the space between the two panes of glass is sealed, sound will have a hard time traveling from one pane to the next.
  3. The third, and most common approach to achieving sound reduction in glass doors and windows is to use a thin piece of plastic laminated between two panes of glass. This approach not only reduces the amount of noise that gets through the window or door, but it also makes the glass harder to break, adding to the security and safety of the door or window.
If soundproofing is important to you it is important to understand how the level of soundproofing in glass is measured. The industry standard is the “Standard Transmission Class” number, typically identified on the product specification as STC #.
When shopping for sound proof glass, keep in mind that a single pane window will have an STC rating of about 27 and double pane product will be in the 28 to 29 range. To achieve the ability to block 95% of all sound, glass needs to have a rating of around 45 or more.

 

Applications

Sound proof glass is used in a variety of commercial and consumer related environments where sound isolation and acoustic integrity is required:

  • Sound recording studios us sound proof glass to isolate the musicians from all external sounds and noise sources.
  • Office space is often designed so that areas are visually accessible but conversations or external noise distractions are isolated.
  • Anyone who has ever been near a jet plane when the motors are running know how loud they can be. The glass windows in the plane, as well as the glass windows of the airport are, by necessity, sound proof to protect the hearing of travelers and airport workers.
  • Homes that are located near high traffic areas may benefit from the use of sound proof glass as a practical sound barrier from the noise coming off of a nearby freeway.