Aggregate Industries worked with the University of Salford to carry out a series of airborne sound insulation performance tests on Lytag lightweight concrete and traditional concrete to better understand the product’s acoustic properties when used in the construction of sound sensitive areas.
The results of the tests – which were reviewed by WSP Acoustics, a leading consultancy practice which is passionate about engineering good acoustic environments – showed an identical overall weighted performance between Lytacrete and normal weight concrete, with a slight improvement in the low frequency weighted performance over a normal weight product.
Barry Mellor, Lytag Commercial & Technical Manager at Aggregate Industries, said: “By the nature of its composition, Lytag lightweight concrete is significantly less dense than its traditional weight counterparts. As such, we found that there has been a common misconception that the product’s ability to block sound was not as effective as that of conventional dense concrete.
“Keen to demonstrate this wasn’t the case, we commissioned a specialist acoustics lab to carry out comparable testing, which has shown that Lytag is just as effective at blocking airborne noise as dense concrete.”
Acoustic properties of materials are likely to be considered in construction projects that require sound sensitive areas; hotels, for example, where there are function rooms or guest accommodation. Lytacrete often lends itself well to these projects from a scale perspective, but it was often rejected as a solution for sound sensitive areas due to its low density and the perception that the heavier the product, the more effective it is at blocking unwelcome sound.
Barry continued: “We have found that many projects do not currently take on board the performance of material within the concrete product itself, when it comes to anticipating the effectiveness of blocking sound – simply relying on the density as an indicator of effectiveness. Lytag lightweight concrete is made from secondary aggregate and is made up of hard pellets featuring a honeycombed internal structure of interconnecting spaces. Simply put, these pellets hold air - which then act as a sound proofer.
“We’re delighted that the test results positively highlight Lytacrete’s acoustic properties and hope to see greater adoption across the industry on projects where soundproofing is an essential requirement.”