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Tasteful rigid fiberglass room treatment panels

Epos7

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When I was in high school I bought a bunch - probably about 30 - of Owens Corning 24" x 48" x 2" rigid fiberglass panels. I wrapped them in coarse burlap and used them as room treatment panels for my fledgling stereo. Mine look almost identical to these:

ATS Acoustic Panel - 24 x 48 x 2 (atsacoustics.com)

I still have them in storage. The edges are a little beat up on a few but overall they're still in good shape. Trouble is they don't look all that fantastic :D

I'm thinking I might pull the burlap off and use the raw panels to craft some slightly nicer room treatments. I'll probably frame them - haven't decided yet if I should do that internally or externally. Thought I'd ask here to see if anyone has undertaken such a project. I'm not opposed to cutting them into more interesting shapes or even incorporating them into some furniture.
 

Doodski

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I'm not opposed to cutting them
Yes, as @MarcosCh advised use proper protection. Things like asbestos particulates and glass fiber are known to become lodged in lung tissue and then scar tissue forms around the stuff and you have respiratory difficulties in 20-30 years.
 
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Epos7

Epos7

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Thankfully these were purchased new in about 2005, so they should not contain any asbestos. If I were to cut them I'd certainly wear a respirator, though I imagine cutting them would not be pleasant.
 

Doodski

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Thankfully these were purchased new in about 2005, so they should not contain any asbestos. If I were to cut them I'd certainly wear a respirator, though I imagine cutting them would not be pleasant.
Can prolly cut them with a sharp knife.
 

DonH56

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I used a utility knife to cut mine. Don't forget to wear gloves, and I wore sacrificial old jeans and a sweatshirt when I assembled my panels.

You can get acoustic fabric in a myriad of colors to cover them to taste, or even have pictures (stock or your own) printed on the covers. You can build frames or buy frames from Real Traps, Ready Acoustics and other places.
 

Katji

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You can get acoustic fabric in a myriad of colors to cover them to taste,
Does it have to be acoustic fabric? What are the implications?
I have a sort of problem with this - I want some specific bright colours... there is a [local, as in 600Km.] supplier that does "reupholstering" of their panels, recovering, but it's very unlikely they will have the colours I want...I was thinking I need to ask them what to do, would it be better for me to source the fabric, but that answers one question - whether it needs to be special fabric...in which case it becomes impossible - almost impossible, I don't want to be importing fabric...
 

DonH56

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Acoustic fabric is an open weave to allow sound through especially at higher frequencies. I am no expert but you can probably find something that would work (no idea where you might have to order from). Tight weave, like for a bedsheet, will reflect more high-frequency sound, which may or may not be a concern for you. You may be able to get some sort of fabric for drapes that would work, but again this is not my field.

You could look at places like Kinetics Noise Control and GIK for examples of different colors available in case they have something in stock. I think Ready Acoustics also offers different colors, not sure about Real Traps or some of the others -- try some searching. Auralex has a custom shop, don't know if they would help: https://auralex.com/shop/absorption/custom/ -- I have had issues with foam absorbers in the past so do not have any recent experience with Auralex.

HTH - Don
 

MarcosCh

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If i remember well, he discusses materials and how to diy them in this and other videos
 

DVDdoug

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Does it have to be acoustic fabric? What are the implications?
That's a darn-good question!

I'm thinking it's not THAT important but if it makes a difference something "soft" (maybe even faux fur) might be the "best" for absorbing high-frequencies.
 

bladerunner6

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I have been thinking of buying some tapestries and putting them on fiberglass frames.

One vendor I am looking at used lightweight polyester.

How well would that work?

Thanks.
 
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Epos7

Epos7

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That's a darn-good question!

I'm thinking it's not THAT important but if it makes a difference something "soft" (maybe even faux fur) might be the "best" for absorbing high-frequencies.

If my memory is correct, coarser fabrics like burlap will let high frequencies through to the sound panel and more tightly woven fabrics tend to reflect high frequencies back into the room.
 

Inner Space

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Does it have to be acoustic fabric? What are the implications?
I have a sort of problem with this - I want some specific bright colours...

It doesn't have to be acoustic fabric. It doesn't have to be like speaker grille cloth. Best option in your situation is a thick-ish, soft nap, nubby upholstery fabric, not smooth or glitzy, not treated in any way, not ScotchGarded or mercerized. That will be fine, and any furniture upholsterer will be able to stretch and staple it onto the frame for you, very nice and neat. Color and pattern choice should be unlimited.
 

fluid

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Thought I'd ask here to see if anyone has undertaken such a project. I'm not opposed to cutting them into more interesting shapes or even incorporating them into some furniture.
2" panels do not make very good broadband absorbers, 6 to 8 inches with an air gap behind makes a much better absorber that is less frequency selective.

You can see in this graphic from Floyd Toole's 3rd Edition book the effect of the 2" absorber and also what happens if the fabric covering is not acoustically transparent.

1631931304083.png


More advice from that section
"There are good reasons to believe that reflected sounds should have spectra that are similar to the direct sound in order for basic auditory processes to function. The precedence effect, which is fundamental to sound image localization is one of them.

In custom listening rooms it is common to cover large wall surfaces with stretched fabric to cover what might be otherwise an unattractive collection of diffusers, absorbers and loudspeakers. This is more than a visual alteration to the room because fabric has flow resistance; if you cannot easily see daylight through a fabric, or blow through it, it will not be acoustically transparent. Such fabrics, with nothing more than empty space behind them, become absorbers, and experience shows that many listening rooms end up being unpleasantly dead because of it".


So it is actually quite important to have the fabric cover be acoustically transparent if you want the absorber to be as broadband as possible.

I've attached below some images of panels I've made including a printed fabric one
 

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Newman

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That graph above is a good lesson for anyone who thinks, "If you can blow through it easily, it's acoustically transparent". I'll bet with confidence that the fabric used in that measurement presented no resistance to blowing.
 

Inner Space

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That graph above is a good lesson for anyone who thinks, "If you can blow through it easily, it's acoustically transparent". I'll bet with confidence that the fabric used in that measurement presented no resistance to blowing.

The graph suggests the fabric is reflective at certain frequencies, and as many have pointed out, certain weaves and finishes should be avoided. But the para quoted with the graph was about absorption by the fabric itself, not reflection, and was 50% confused, in that absorptive fabric over a diffusor might be less than ideal, whereas absorptive fabric over an absorber might be helpful.
 

fluid

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I'll bet with confidence that the fabric used in that measurement presented no resistance to blowing.
It's Guildford of Maine FR701 which is sold as acoustically transparent (but is really not at least at 45 deg incidence). It looks to be quite a heavy duty weave to me and I suspect wouldn't pass the blow test that well.

2100-538_2.jpg

The graph suggests the fabric is reflective at certain frequencies, and as many have pointed out, certain weaves and finishes should be avoided. But the para quoted with the graph was about absorption by the fabric itself, not reflection, and was 50% confused, in that absorptive fabric over a diffusor might be less than ideal, whereas absorptive fabric over an absorber might be helpful.
It is hard to quote parts of a book without either quoting the whole chapter or having some parts in it be potentially confusing.

In general the more acoustically transparent the fabric is the better. Rarely do you need more high frequency absorption as it comes with almost anything that absorbs low and mid frequencies. Adding extra in the covering is an easy way to make the room too dead.
 

bladerunner6

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Has anybody here ever used movie or music art as covers on their panels.
Thanks.
 
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