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Advances in Acoustics and Vibration
Volume 2012, Article ID 698737, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/698737
Research Article

Panels Manufactured from Vegetable Fibers: An Alternative Approach for Controlling Noises in Indoor Environments

1POLO Research Laboratories for Emerging Technologies in Cooling and Thermophysics, Federal University of Santa Catarina, University Campus-Trindade, 88040-900 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
2Acoustics and Vibration Group, Federal University of Pará, 1, Augusto Correa Street, 66075-110 Belém, PA, Brazil

Received 27 May 2012; Accepted 30 July 2012

Academic Editor: Luis M. C. Godinho

Copyright © 2012 Leopoldo Pacheco Bastos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Noise control devices such as panels and barriers, when of high efficiency, generally are of difficult acquisition due to high costs turning in many cases their use impracticable, mainly for limited budget small-sized companies. There is a huge requirement for new acoustic materials that have satisfactory performance, not only under acoustic aspect but also other relevant ones and are of low cost. Vegetable fibers are an alternative solution when used as panels since they promise satisfactory acoustic absorption, according to previous researches, exist in abundance, and derive from renewable sources. This paper, therefore, reports on the development of panels made from vegetable fibers (coconut, palm, sisal, and açaí), assesses their applicability by various experimental (flammability, odor, fungal growth, and ageing) tests, and characterize them acoustically in terms of their sound absorption coefficients on a scale model reverberant chamber. Acoustic results point out that the aforementioned fiber panels play pretty well the role of a noise control device since they have compatible, and in some cases, higher performance when compared to commercially available conventional materials.