When it comes to sound insulation, it is often not just a question of keeping noise out – or in. Just as frequently, the goal is to fine-tune the room’s acoustics. Basotect® melamine resin foam is capable of both.
We are surrounded by sound. But sound in its many manifestations is not always pleasant and is sometimes experienced as noise. The human sense hearing is one of our most astute senses. So it is hardly surprising that precision is called for when it comes to sound – because only when sounds strike the eardrum exactly as intended do they become music to our ears. Whether sound is perceived as pleasant, e.g. as music, or unpleasant, e.g. as noise, depends not only on the volume, but also on the right acoustics. To achieve this, Basotect® melamine resin foam is put to use in many concert halls and recording studios worldwide – and now the sound-absorbing material is creating a super sound experience for the first time in a discotheque as well. The newly opened night club “Jeanne D’Arc” in Landau is resorting not only to its innovative properties – thanks to its open cell structure, the sound waves are almost completely absorbed to prevent annoying echo – but also to the material’s esthetic possibilities. Its creative scope and versatility make Basotect® a genuine design miracle. For the color and shape of the lightweight, poorly flammable foam can be individually adapted – in the “Jeanne D’Arc”, the material is being used to delight not only the ear, but also the eye. “Basotect was our material of choice in the difficult search for a material that combines functionality with design potential,” says Sebastian Metz of architects IDEENREICH.
Visually, the integrated sound insulation strategy entails a real mix of shapes: In the over 1,000 square meter night club, 1,200 large cylindrical baffles and more than 100 cubes of Basotect® G+ are suspended from the ceiling. In addition, pyramidal patterns using the melamine resin foam contribute to perfect acoustics, preventing the ceilings and walls from reflecting the sound waves and creating the conditions for a super sound experience.
Even if the acoustics and appearance are ideal, the material still has to be easy to handle as well. Thermosetting melamine resin foam is easy to install and process and has high fire protection properties – making it the ideal material for architects for the fine-tuning of room acoustics. Thanks its inherent stiffness coupled with flexibility, almost any desired shape can easily be realized with Basotect®, so intricate artworks can be effortlessly produced by compression-cutting, stamping, milling or sawing.
The fact that Basotect® is also the material of choice for super-quiet environments as well as super-loud ones has been demonstrated by an installation at the famous Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. In one of the world’s 10 noisiest cities of all places, museum visitors were able to find a silent refuge in the PSAD Synthetic Desert III created by artist Doug Wheeler. By using Basotect®, the artwork executed by the Guggenheim Museum and supported by BASF changed the acoustic atmosphere in a specially developed exhibition room to such an extent that almost all ambient noise was suppressed. “In what we commonly regard as silence, 30 decibels are measured, while the reading in Wheeler’s low-noise chamber was only around 10 to 15 decibels – that’s so quiet you can practically hear your own heart beat,” says Doyle Robertson, BASF specialist in melamine foam in North America. Here, again, the design scope was exploited to best effect. The lighting and layout of the installation conveyed the visual impression of almost endless space, visually and acoustically replicating the artist’s experience of space and stillness in the desert. The use of Basotect® made it possible to completely screen off the noise of the city – for, depending on the requirements, the innovative material can be used for a super sound experience or as a sound absorber.