What is a Sound Barrier?
A highway sound barrier is an exterior wall built alongside a roadway that interrupts the flow of sound waves from one area to another.
Two types of highway sound barriers are used.
- A reflective wall which is solid, will break up sound waves and reflect the noise back to the source location.
- An absorptive sound wall is treated with materials often applied to the substrate of a wall that is porous and textured that break up and absorb sound waves. Absorptive noise barriers are also reflective in nature.
Design & Build
AFTEC offers complete Design-Build for two types of noise barriers.
- The StoneTree® Sound Wall System using AFTEC’s proprietary Combo-Cast™ technology integrating the column and panel into single reflective sound wall sections which can be constructed up to heights of 16 feet
- The SoundTec™ Noise Wall System using more traditional construction methods of stacking absorptive or reflective panels between structural support columns. The SoundTec™ Wall can be produced with formed texture on one or both sides. For sound absorptive walls, the material is integrated into one side of the wall in the manufacturing process.
AFTEC stands apart from its competitors, insomuch that it manufactures its own forming systems. This allows for customization of the sound barrier fence panels to be manufactured to meet the specifications of various DOT’s.
- Concrete: All AFTEC noise barriers are manufactured from high strength concrete.
- Steel Reinforcement: Each wall section or panel is reinforced with steel rebar based on the engineered specifications for each specific project
- Absorptive Materials: For sound absorption walls, AFTEC uses a proprietary mix design that is applied to one side of the panel during the manufacturing process
All AFTEC sound barrier walls can be produced with a variety of textured finishes in various stone, brick, block or architectural designs. All sound wall products can be produced with formed texture on one or both sides of each wall section.
Benefits of Highway Sound Barrier Walls
The requirements for sound barrier walls have increased exponentially with more and more development taking place alongside highways and heavily traveled roadways. In addition to providing sound control between highways and adjacent properties, they are also used to separate rail corridors, airports, utility sites, warehouse distribution centers and municipal locations from residential and quiet areas.
Sound walls have two purposes: to be able to deflect noise levels by as much as 10 decibels and be aesthetically pleasing.
There are no federal regulations regarding materials to be used for highway noise barriers, but concrete provides for the most durable, long lasting and maintenance free aesthetically pleasing noise walls.