Acoustic enclosures are acoustic chambers, noise enclosures, acoustic barriers and screens, and sound isolation enclosures that minimize or attenuate noise. They are made of acoustic or acoustical materials and provide four basic functions: sound isolation, sound absorption, vibration, isolation and vibration absorption. Heavy materials such as sheet metal, timber, masonry, plasterboard, glass and loaded vinyl stop relatively large amounts of sound and can be used in acoustic enclosures of double-leaf construction. Sound absorbing materials usually have a protective face and are made of perforated sheet metal, perforated foil, or perforated vinyl. Vibration isolation requires components such as springs, rubber mounts, air cushions, pads or mats, and cork or fiberglass inserts.
Acoustic enclosures prevent the radiation of noise from a noise source to an outside area. They also prevent exterior sounds from penetrating interior spaces. Some acoustic enclosures are designed to reduce sound in the frequencies at which human hearing is most sensitive. Other acoustic enclosures are designed to attenuate noise at frequencies that might interfere with critical measurements or high-precision manufacturing processes. Advanced or specialized acoustic enclosures often incorporate vibration attenuation technology.
There are many applications for acoustic enclosures and acoustical enclosures. For example, products are often used for sound dampening with manufacturing equipment, power generation devices, air conditioning systems, and refrigeration equipment. Acoustic enclosures are also used for noise attenuation with compressors, blowers and fans. Some acoustic enclosures are portable and light-weight. Others are designed to be fixed in one place. Typically, these permanent structures contain acoustic ceiling tile, acoustic wall tile, and acoustic foam. Personnel shelters, observation rooms, and control rooms are examples of larger structures.