Noise protection walls made of PLEXIGLAS®: boosting health thanks to reduced noise
The global traffic volume continues to grow – and so too does noise pollution for people who live close to roads and rails. As a permanently high level of noise can make people ill, sound protection is growing in importance.
Transparent walls made of PLEXIGLAS® protect against noise without blocking views of the surrounding area.
Mobility requirements to triple by 2050
More and more people are commuting to their place of work, and online retail is booming – and these are just two of the reasons why the traffic volume continues to grow: According to studies by the International Transport Forum, worldwide passenger and freight traffic is set to almost triple by the year 2050. As a result, the level of noise that people living close to roads and railways are exposed to is set to rise.
Noise makes people ill
A permanently high noise level can make people ill: According to the German Environment Agency, noise has an effect on the entire organism by triggering stress reactions. This can even happen at lower sound levels that do not damage hearing, such as traffic noise. Accordingly, prolonged noise pollution increases the risks of circulatory and mental illnesses. Disturbed sleep is a trigger for this, as more stress hormones are released when a person wakes up frequently.
Various types of noise protection wall
Sound protection barriers or walls are suitable as protection against traffic noise. However, green barriers and gabions require a lot of space compared to noise protection walls. Therefore, city planners primarily use various types of noise protection wall in urban areas. These can be made of non-transparent materials such as concrete, wood, stone or metal, or alternatively transparent materials such as plastic or glass. The choice of material for the noise protection wall is dependent on many technical factors and the conditions on site.
Alongside its function, the visual appearance of the wall also plays a role: After all, a high noise protection wall is an especially great visual intrusion into the landscape or cityscape. This primarily affects the people who live nearby – while most drivers quickly pass the barrier, the noise protection wall is a permanent feature of the residents’ environment. As such, non-transparent noise protection facilities can significantly compromise quality of living and well-being.
Transparent noise protection for improved quality of life
Transparent elements in noise protection walls soften the impression of a solid wall, granting residents a free view of their surroundings while at the same time preventing tiring tunnel effects in drivers. Moreover, they cast less shadow on the adjacent land or road and thereby allow other cars joining the highway to be recognized at an early stage.
PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop is an acrylic glass from Röhm developed specifically for noise protection walls: It has outstanding airborne sound insulation properties and effectively protects the areas behind it from noise – while also offering the highest degree of transparency. In order to satisfy a wide range of local requirements, PLEXIGLAS® is available in a number of different versions. Depending on the thickness of the panels, sound reduction indexes of up to 35 decibels are possible – corresponding to a significant reduction in noise.
The effects of noise reduction
Sound volumes are generally measured in decibels (dB). Because this is a mathematical factor, even smaller differences in the numerical values can significantly change a person’s perception of noise levels. For instance, a value that is only 10 dB lower is perceived as being only half as loud.
Durable and easy to clean
As well as reducing the amount of noise pollution for residents, a noise protection wall made of PLEXIGLAS® also helps save resources thanks to its durability: The high-quality visual appearance and light transmittance of transparent elements made of Röhm’s brand acrylic glass are maintained over a long period of time. We guarantee that PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop will show virtually no signs of yellowing, even after 30 years of continuous use.
PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop is also easy to clean. Dirt and grime take far longer to stick to the especially smooth and non-porous surface of the panels than to other materials. This keeps the cost and resource-intensive cleaning of a noise protection wall to a minimum, thus also making PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop an especially sustainable method of health protection.