What Is Absorption?

The dissipation of sound energy into another form of energy – usually heat. When a sound wave impinges on a surface, absorption occurs. If the wave strikes the material so that the wave is perpendicular to the material, maximum absorption occurs. The unit of measure of absorption is the Sabine, named after Wallace Clement Sabine. One square foot of a material that absorbs 100 % of the sound striking it is equal to one Sabine. The absorption that a material exhibits will change with frequency and with mounting techniques. Absorption co-efficients are measured in a laboratory and are assigned to most construction materials. This co-efficient will vary from .01 (the lowest absorption) to 1.00 which is 100% for the sound being absorbed. These figures are reliable as long as the material specified is installed the manner it was tested.

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