How small-scale variation in mineral wool products effect random incidence sound absorption



Mineral wool products are produced by creating a spray of fibres, that is collected and made into slabs. This randomized spray can lead to small variations across a slab. Nevertheless, mineral wool slabs are often treated in acoustics as locally reacting perfectly homogeneous, isotropic materials. This means that small-scale characterisations are extrapolated to large-scale without considering the impact from possible variations in a large-scale setup. The question is how the small-scale characterisations should be used for large-scale setups with this in mind.

Three products with the same thickness and density, but with significantly different specific airflow resistances were selected for random incidence sound absorption tests. The products were all specially made ceiling tiles and measurements were conducted in E200 setup according to ISO 354:2003. The tiles were gradually exchanged in a random fashion, so measurement results were obtained using a combination of tiles with different specific airflow resistances.

Results showed a surprisingly linear relation between the sound absorption and the average specific airflow resistance of tiles used in the measurements. The results point to that variations in products must be observed, but also that small variations in specific airflow resistance in standardized products are insignificant.