The use of Textiles in an Acoustic Context
Licentiate thesis, 2012
Working with textiles in an acoustic context gives enormous possibilities to combine the acoustic function of materials with the visual function (aesthetics). Depending on the material choice and the production techniques, textiles may for instance be flexible, stiff, airtight, have high density or high porosity. Designing acoustic textiles and applying them in an efficient way in practice demands knowledge and understanding among both acousticians and textile designers. This knowledge and understanding has to concern both textiles and their manufacturing processes as well as the acoustic performance of space and how different treatment influences this performance.
The aim of this thesis is to offer textile designers the possibility to learn more about acoustics and the design of textiles with respect to an required acoustic performance. It will hopefully also assist acousticians to identify proper textiles for the acoustic treatment of spaces and in this way motivate the further development of textiles for acoustic purposes.
The thesis starts with two sections which provide an introduction for acousticians into the world of textiles and an introduction for textile designers into the world of acoustics. This is followed by a discussion concerning the developing process of textiles for acoustic purposes. The conclusion from this discussion is that the potential of textiles might be best utilized if the textiles are designed for a specific case. This is demonstrated for a classroom where the acoustic performance is studied in detail.
The results from the classroom study show the possibilities how the acoustic textiles could be designed. The usual goal of maximum absorption obtained low priority, while textiles with rather moderate absorption placed in sufficient surface and in appropriate positions showed to have the highest potential for improving the acoustic quality of the classroom