Does Halo Insulation Work as Soundproofing?

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You’re probably familiar with Halo’s strengths as an insulation product that slashes energy costs by keeping room temperatures at a comfortable level.

But what about noise control — can Halo also add comfort by reducing sound transmission?

It turns out that it can, although Halo’s performance as a soundproofing material is not as impressive as its array of thermal benefits.

This post will talk about the several ways in which Halo’s products can be used to manage sound in a building.

Managing Sound Transmission vs. Echo


Soundproofing and sound absorption are 2 distinct processes. Soundproofing means blocking soundwaves from traveling from one space to the next, whereas sound absorption refers to reducing echo.

One of the ways to soundproof a space is by decoupling the partition. This practice requires two layers of solid material — gypsum, concrete, or glass — with an air gap between them. The solid layer facing the sound’s origin acts as a conductor to the soundwaves until they reach the air cavity, interrupting the waves’ direct path. This way, the soundwaves are far weaker when they reach the solid layer on the other side of the partition.

Unfortunately, decoupling alone is not enough to block soundwaves of all frequencies. That’s why other strategies, like adding mass, damping the partitions, and improving absorption, are crucial to sound control.

Absorption, for instance, boosts the soundproofing performance of decoupled walls and improves the sound quality in the space from which the noise is coming.

And that’s where Halo’s GPS insulation products can make a meaningful contribution to the building’s sound management strategy.

Absorbing Noise With Halo’s GPS Insulation

While Halo’s panels cannot stop sound transmission from one space to another on their own, they can be used to absorb sound. Graphite Polystyrene (GPS) — the primary component in Halo’s foam panels — has stellar sound-absorbing properties. As such, it’s great to use in spaces where you’d want to eliminate echoes, such as conference rooms and auditoriums.

Halo Soundproofing With Interra
Halo Soundproofing With Interra

Note that to take advantage of GPS’s sound-absorbent properties, you’d have to leave the panels exposed along the face of the wall. If you place the GPS panels behind a sheet of drywall — as you usually would — they would no longer reduce echo in the space.

That said, using Halo foam board insulation to decouple walls will improve soundproofing while adding thermal performance. Doing so can improve the effectiveness of the wall as a sound barrier.

With this in mind, let’s have a look at the possible sound-management applications for Halo’s GPS products:

  1. Add Interra to the exterior wall cavity. This will help decouple the wall by breaking the sound path between the exterior and interior faces while adding its inherent benefits of insulation and a vapor barrier.
  2. Include Interra in the demising wall cavity. The principle is the same as above — the GPS panel helps interrupt sound path.
  3. Apply Interra to ceilings. Since sound travels in all directions, adding Interra to the ceiling can also help reduce sound transmission.
  4. Leave Chrome GPS FR exposed on interior walls. Doing so will help you absorb soundwaves within the room, reducing echo and enhancing the overall sound quality.

Wrapping It Up

As you can see, Halo’s products can come in handy if you want to minimize echo in a room or decouple a partition or exterior wall while adding insulation and a vapor barrier if needed.

That said, Halo’s GPS insulation products were not designed explicitly for sound management. Their true forte lies elsewhere. Halo’s products excel at blocking heat flow and vapor, mitigating Radon ingress, and serving many other functions that improve health, comfort, and energy efficiency.

About the author:
President, Logix Brands Ltd.