Ecologically sustainable noise barrier – further developments
Krezel, Z. A. and McManus, K. J. 2009, Ecologically sustainable noise barrier – further developments, in Enviroad 2009 : Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference Environmentally Friendly Roads 2009, Road and Bridge Research Institute, Warsaw, Poland, pp. 1-7.
This paper reports on the second phase of a research project aimed at the development of an environmentally friendly noise barrier for urban freeways, also known as KMAK (Krezel and McManus, 2007). The concrete barrier, which has some unique capabilities to mitigate transportation noise, is made from recycled concrete (RC) aggregate and industrial by-products such as fly ash and reclaimed water. The current developmental work expands on a research project that resulted in a two-layer (2L) concrete barrier. Two prototypes of the 2L barrier were produced, followed by extensive acoustic testing and a number of simulations where standard timber and/or concrete barriers were substituted with KMAK barrier (Krezel et al, 2004). Current research investigates a variety of architectural finishes applied to the original KMAK barrier with the aim of improving its visual appearance and also fine-tuning its acoustic performance. The new three-layer (3L) barrier optimises sound absorption in a frequency range characteristic to that of transportation noise, especially road traffic noise. Three major aspects related to the development of architectural finishes were considered; environmentally responsible materials, surface features and production methods. The light-weight material used in the architectural finish is based on ordinary Portland cement (OPC) and uses very fine fraction of RC aggregate. The manufacturing process of the 3L barrier was tested in a commercial setting and two sets of prototype barrier were cast. An innovative, cost effective method of applying pattern and perforation to the surface of architectural finish was also developed and tested. The findings of the current investigation demonstrate that there is a positive correlation between surface features, percentage of perforation as well as depth of the architectural layer and increased potential of the 3L barrier to mitigate transportation noise. On average, the addition of perforated architectural finish contributes to 20% increase in sound absorption. The preliminary results also show that the sound absorbency of the 3L barrier can be better controlled and tuned to specific noise frequency. The visual appearance has been significantly improved with the addition of the architectural finish, which makes the barrier an attractive, feasible and viable alternative to road barriers made from standard concrete or timber.
Field of Research
120499 Engineering Design not elsewhere classified
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