The colorful sound of silence
Sound-absorbing foam now comes in more than 50,000 shades of paint
Visitors to the trade fair “Farbe – Ausbau und Fassade” (“Paint - finishing and facade”) to be held in Cologne, Germany from April 18 to 21 can see how Caparol and BASF combine ambient color with sound insulation. The “CapaCoustic Melapor” acoustic system to be showcased there is based on molded parts made of BASF’s melamine-resin foam Basotect®. A spraying technique applies a mist coating of the CapaTrend interior paint – available in 50,000 shades – onto the parts, which can then be mounted on walls or ceilings with little effort. This means that panels made of Basotect can be obtained in every color of the rainbow, retaining their characteristic properties: high sound absorption, fire resistance, and flexibility. The decorative acoustic system is ideal for easily retrofitting indoor public spaces with sound insulation that meets fire regulations, and that, wherever the sound-absorbing elements are supposed to blend in with the existing architecture harmoniously, without taking up too much space.
Decorative sound insulation
The colorful Basotect offers new design options in sound insulation. With a spray gun operating at high pressure, the painter can spray-paint the acoustic elements in any desired shade to match the existing color of the room. Extensive acoustic and fire tests have confirmed that the sprayed-on paint does not clog the fine pores of the melamine-resin foam, so that the very good sound-absorbing capacity and flame-resistance of Basotect are retained. The paint adheres to the fine-pored surface so well that even digital printing is possible. As a result, high-definition pictures with velvety smooth surfaces can be created without being recognizable as sound insulation.
Moreover, Basotect can be installed quickly and simply since it is lightweight (9 g/l) and free of mineral fibers. Conventional sound-control measures usually involve making major changes to the existing architecture (for instance, ceiling coverings, partition walls) or else their esthetics leaves much to be desired: many insulating materials have coarse pores and are only available in a few shapes and colors.
“Our goal is to lower the noise level in large rooms without compromising the esthetics and with little installation effort, even for sound-reflecting surfaces where it is difficult to get a grip on the acoustics. This is where Basotect goes hand in glove with our paints,” explains Klaus Hartmann, head of product management for acoustics at Caparol. The CapaCoustic Melapor product line comprises panels with smooth or wavy structures as well as rectangular, round and elliptical baffles with smooth surfaces. The acoustic elements are available in a size of up to 1.25 x 0.625 meters, in thicknesses ranging from 30 mm to 50 mm. They can be glued onto walls and ceilings or else be freely suspended on ropes. Sound insulation using colorful Basotect lends itself particularly well for large rooms such as offices and call centers, restaurants and cafeterias, schools, kindergartens as well as machinery and production halls.
For 112 years, Caparol, headquartered in Ober-Ramstadt in the south of Germany, has been producing and selling paints, lacquers, glazes, chemical coatings for construction, materials for facade and insulation technology as well as paints for do-it-yourselfers and artists. The company is the market leader in construction paints in Germany and, with sales amounting to 850 million euros, ranks fourth in the sector in Europe.
Multifunctional melamine-resin foam
The thermoset foam Basotect from BASF’s Styrenics Division is now available in many variants and for different applications. Thanks to its favorable combination of various properties such as temperature-resistance and flame-resistance, coupled with the fact that it is extraordinarily lightweight, flexible, sound-absorbing and heat-insulating, this foam has been used in the acoustic insulation of buildings as well as for fireproof airplane seats, in automotive construction and, most recently, in the Ariane 5 launcher, which delivers satellites into space.
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