What is the best material for soundproofing?

Why Aluminium Is Superior To uPVC in Soundproofing

On its own, uPVC may well be a better insulator than aluminium. However, the materials used in windows are not the only factor when it comes to blocking out noise. In reality, the actual material itself contributes very little to the acoustic performance of the window.

Instead, a well-fitted, weathertight aluminium window can perform to the same soundproofing quality as the best uPVC windows.

So, what are the factors in ensuring a window is soundproof?

There are basically 3 essential criteria for a soundproof window:

1. Fit between hardware and profile

As noise travels mainly through gaps between the glass, sash, profile and hardware, a tight fit between all parts is essential in providing the best soundproofing quality. This is best done by a full window system by a single supplier using a patented groove system, as all parts are manufactured to fit to each other.

2. Durable material

To ensure that soundproofing is not just temporary, a good quality durable material is necessary since any small alignment issue will greatly affect a window’s soundproofing quality.

3. Correct type of glass and glass thickness

Other than a good acoustic rating, the correct type of glass should be used, depending on the source and frequency of noise.

Learn more about the 3 essential criteria for soundproofing windows here!

What makes European industrial-grade aluminium stand out against uPVC?

1. Free from alignment problems

As Aluminium does not degrade over time, the windows will not have any alignment issue longer-term. This will ensure that the window is weathertight, soundproof and dust resistant as noise, dust and water travel through small gaps between the glass, hardware, sash and frame. Hence, the fit between these parts is essential in keeping the window soundproof, weathertight and dust resistant.

Therefore, a soundproof window that is made of aluminium will have the same soundproofing quality even after 10 or 20 years. In contrast, uPVC windows degrade over time and is its soundproofing quality last probably half as long as aluminium windows. In addition, due to the thickness of the glass used for soundproof windows, a normal window sash could weigh up to 120kg. This weight will speed up the degrading of the window frame causing windows to sag, which is a common problem with uPVC, going by the thousands of case studies online.

Example of sagging uPVC windows:

Photos from: windowreplacementrepair.wordpress.com

2. Durable & more cost-efficient

A high-quality industrial-grade aluminium window can be extremely durable for all types of climate and weather conditions, with an average lifespan of 25 to 30 years. This is much longer lasting as compared to uPVC of only about 10 to 15 years. Hence, high-quality industrial-grade aluminium windows are much more cost-efficient in the long run than its uPVC counterparts.

3. Minimalist, sleek, less bulky with unlimited colour & texture customisation

As Aluminium can be powder-coated, there are unlimited colour options and textures to select from. In addition, soundproof aluminium window frames are generally thinner and smaller, as aluminium can take on more weight than uPVC. This enables windows to look sleeker and more modern with a minimalistic style. It also enables more light to pass through as it can take a bigger glass panel.

4. Super environmentally-friendly

Did you know that aluminium, which is highly durable, can be infinitely recycled? In fact, 75% of all aluminium produced is still being used today. Aside from that, modern aluminium windows are able to provide good thermal reduction, allowing for thermal isolation which is especially useful in Singapore to block out heat. This makes aluminium one of the most eco-friendly materials for making windows compared to other synthetic, non-recyclable materials which ultimately contribute to global warming

5. Aligned with SCDF Fire Code 2019

In Singapore, there are a number of other reasons not to go with uPVC. uPVC is less fire resistant and the SCDF Fire Code 2019 has updated regulations that require stricter control over the installation of uPVC Windows. Furthermore, the SCDF requires all uPVC windows to be tested and listed under the Product Listing Scheme and subjected to an annual surveillance test.

You may have heard that windows using double-glazed glass with a normal profile can provide soundproofing quality. Let us bust the myth here!

Home too noisy? Simply download a noise meter reading app from the app store and send us your noise meter readings via whatsapp at +65 8666 8734 for a free soundproofing consultation (do describe the problems you face and include a picture of your current windows).