Laminated Glass on Steroids

Sekisui, a Japanese firm, has come up with a new way to improve the acoustical performance of laminated glass which is often used to reduce noise transfer from space to space when vision is desired. The inner layer of the lamination or the PVB (Polyvinyl Butyral) layer was found as a location to improve the acoustical performance of the glass. Sekisui has developed a patented 3 layer construction that allows the “softer core to absorb incoming vibrations, while outer layers provide traditional PVB strengths”.

So for those of us who flunked Chemistry 101 – we bond two pieces of glass together by a sandwich of vinyl. The outer two layers of the vinyl sandwich are a little stiffer and provide strength against items trying to fly through the window and the middle layer is soft so any vibration that does hit the outside of the window is reduced as it travels through the glazing system. Higher frequency noise, such as wind, is reduced another 5 to 10 decibels, a very noticeable change. The product is used at Heathrow Airport and the British Reading Room in London. We would expect to see this product in hotel or residential windows in noisy urban areas or in more critical spaces that are concerned with higher frequency noise. Below the middle of our speech range the new system does not perform any better than current laminated glass or standard glass. Again it is one more tool for the toolbox.