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Environmentally friendly sound absorbing noise barrier made from concrete waste - further developments
journal contributionposted on 2010-07-01, 00:00 authored by Adam KrezelAdam Krezel, K McManus
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 . 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 . 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 optimizes sound absorption in a frequency range characteristic similar 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 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 a 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 than the 2L type. 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.