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FAQ for Acoustic Foam

General Questions

Can the foam be cut down to the size that I need?

Yes. If the standard sizes we carry do not meet your requirements, we can cut the foam down to the size you need. You can also cut the foam yourself if you wish, using a sharp serrated blade or an electric knife.

How do I apply the acoustic foam to the mounting surface?

We suggest using spray adhesive for bonding acoustical foam to mounting surfaces.

Temporary Hold*: For temporary use, lightly mist the foam with adhesive and apply it to the mounting surface.
Permanent Hold: For maximum hold, spray a generous coating of adhesive without saturating the foam. Apply adhesive to the mounting surface as well. Wait for the adhesive to become tacky before applying the foam to the mounting surface and hold in place for a minute or two.

For concrete surfaces, brush away dust and loose particles before installation.

NOTE: *For temporary applications, using less adhesive will form a weaker bond, but be aware that based on the type of mounting surface, removal of the acoustical foam may still leave residue or remove paint from the wall. The longer foam is mounted to the surface, the greater the chance of this occurring. We are not responsible for any damage caused by the personal application of this product, within or outside of its recommended use.

Can I mount the foam without using adhesive?

The acoustic foam can be mounted directly to the wall using T-pins, or by applying the acoustic foam to a board and either resting the treatment against the wall or hanging it like a picture.

Ordering Questions

Can I have different colors in the same package?

No. While a package can be any offered color of your choosing, each package can only have one color. However, if ordering multiple packs in a single order, each individual pack can be its own color.

Acoustic Foam Questions

What do I need to stop sound from traveling through a wall?

Acoustic foam can be used to stop sound from traveling through a wall to a certain degree, but its primary goal is improving the clarity of sound in a room. If you were to exclusively use foam and completely cover the walls in a room with our 4 inch wedge foam, you would only block about 20 to 30 percent of the sound traveling through the wall. If you need to block more sound, you will need to include sound reduction into a room’s construction or build a room-within-a-room, with airspace and multiple physical barriers to achieve more than 30 percent deadening.

How much acoustic foam do I need?

Typical applications call for 25 to 75 percent coverage, with the average being 50 percent. We suggest 50 to 75 percent for rock, pop, techno and other genres with varying styles of sound waves. For jazz, classical and other similar styles, 25 to 50 percent coverage is suggested.

Where should I place my wedge and pyramid foam or bass absorbers?

For corner bass absorbers:
We suggest placing two in each corner, starting from the ceiling and going down. If you decide to go with four bass absorbers in each corner but the ceiling is higher than eight feet, space the bass absorbers out evenly, having the top bass absorber touch the ceiling and the bottom bass absorber touch the floor. When it is not possible to put the bass absorbers in the corner, you can place them in the ceiling juncture (which is preferable) or floor juncture. For corners that are not 90 degrees, you may want to consider our male/female broadband absorbers. Suggested placement of broadband absorbers is the same as the placement of corner bass absorbers, but with a flat backing, they may be more conducive to use in your particular room.

For wedge and pyramid foam:
We suggest starting from the ceiling, and working your way down. For most applications, foam panels do not need to be lower than two or three feet from the floor. Placement should be concentrated around where the sound originates and first reflection points. Wedge foam will perform in similar fashion whether it is horizontal, vertical, or at a 45 degree angle. If absolute deadness is not required, we suggest mounting the foam in a checkerboard style, alternating pattern direction, for aesthetic purposes.

What does NRC mean?

NRC stands for Noise Reduction Coefficient. The NRC of a material can be found by either the Reverberation Room Method (ASTM C423) or the Impedance Tube Method (ASTM C384). We use the Reverberation Room Method.

1) Approximately 72 square feet of material is rested on the floor of a reverberation chamber. This chamber usually has all hard concrete surfaces.

2) The change in absorption from the empty room to the room with the material is measured.

3) The changes in sound are measured for octave bands ranging from 125Hz to 4000Hz, recording the differences in Sabin absorption coefficients. The overall NRC rating is the calculated average of frequencies 250Hz, 500Hz, 1000Hz, and 2000Hz.

The higher the NRC rating, the more sound the material can absorb.

What does STC mean?

STC stands for Sound Transmission Class. This rating is used to compare the acoustic isolation of different materials. The method used to calculate the STC rating is ASTM E413.

1) There are two rooms, a "source" room which contains a speaker and a "receiver" room which contains a microphone. Between the two rooms is an opening typically sized 8 by 9 feet.

2) In decibels, the sound is recorded in 1/3-octave bands from 125Hz to 4000Hz.

3) The next step is to record the sound again in decibels with the material(s) completely covering and sealing the opening.

4) Then, the difference between the before and after test is measured and recorded. These measurements are the transmission loss or "TL" of the sound.

5) Lastly, the transmission data is drawn across an axis of frequency in Hz and transmission loss in dB. This transmission data curve is referenced to standardized STC curves. The standardized curve that most closely matches the transmission data curve gives the transmission data curve its STC rating. The requirements used to match the curves are that the reference curve shall not exceed the measured transmission loss by more than 8 decibels in any 1/3 octave band and that the sum of all "negative discrepancies" shall not exceed 32. Once these requirements are met, the value of the closest matching reference curve at 500Hz is read as the STC of the material.

NOTE: Lab and field measurements may vary 1 to 5 STC depending on application. This should be taken into consideration when choosing materials for acoustic isolation projects.

DISCLAIMER: Any suggestions made by Foam Factory and its employees regarding product suitability should be taken as such – a suggestion. Foam Factory and its employees will make a full effort to suggest the most appropriate product or products for a described application, but these suggestions should not be viewed as a substitution for the advice or opinions of a sound professional or the judgment of the individual customer. Suggestions must also be considered with the understanding that every space and application contains a unique set of variables that may impact the end-performance of products.

Questions about Fire Retardant Foam

Are your acoustical products fire retardant?

Yes, all of our acoustical foam is fire retardant. Details about the material's retardancy can be found by viewing the acoustical foam Data Sheet. All our acoustic foam products have fire retardants chemically added to the foam's formula, not just sprayed on the surface.

Why go with acoustic foam instead of regular "bedding" or "packaging" foam?

Our acoustic foam products are recommended for acoustic applications because they are specially engineered to perform as sound-deadening foam and feature the safety of fire retardancy.

What would happen if fire were exposed to your acoustic foam?

Our acoustic foam will smolder and smoke, but it will not burst into flames. After the source of fire is removed, the foam will burn slowly and will likely "self-extinguish.”

Note: Foam Factory does not encourage exposing our products to extreme heat, fire, or performing any home testing of our products. Foam Factory will not be held liable for any injury or loss sustained from the use or misuse of our products.

What information is needed to pass my building codes?

Our acoustic foams have been tested in accordance with ASTM E84 and NFPA 255 for surface burning and meet a Class A or Class 1 standard. This is accepted by most building codes, but be sure to check requirements in your area before installation.

What does the "Class" refer to when talking about fire retardant specifications?

Referring to the surface burning standard ASTM E84, this test calculates two numbers. One is the Flame Spread Index and the other is the Smoke Developed Index. These numbers determine whether the material is Class A, Class B, or Class C (or Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3, respectively). Class A represents a material that will not burn or smoke much, and Class C represents a material that will burn heavily and produce more smoke. Class B will burn a little more than Class A, and also produce slightly more smoke than Class A, but not ignite or smolder to the extent of Class C.

What does MVSS-302 mean?

The MVSS-302 standard means that after brief exposure to flame, the foam will burn and smoke at a slow rate, with a possibility of self-extinguishing.

What do UL 94 HBF and UL 94 HFI mean?

The UL 94 HBF and UL 94 HFI standards mean if you were to briefly expose the foam to flame, it would self-extinguish.

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