Metal Faced Ceilings

Perforated metal pans backed by fibrous batts (Fig. 52-2) are an alternative to acoustical tile ceilings. Similar panels may be used on walls to absorb sound. Perforated metal-faced units are available for use with suspended ceilings. The metal panels have wrapped mineral wool or fiberglass fill, and receive somewhat lower NRC ratings than acoustical tile. They are available in sizes from 31 by 61 cm (12 by 24 in.) to 61 by 244 cm (24 by 96 in.). Baked enamel finishes are available in a variety of colors. Metal panels are easy to keep clean, have a high luminous reflectivity, and are incombustible. With the acoustic backing removed, a perforated unit can be used for an air return.

The size and spacing of the perforation—not just the percentage of openness—affect the performance. Depending on the perforation pattern and type and on the thickness of the batt, the NRC of perforated metal pans can reach 0.50 to 0.95. If the batts are encased in plastic, as required in some states, the high-frequency absorption is impaired. Metal pans won't reduce sound transmission unless they have a solid backing.

Linear metal ceilings consist of narrow anodized aluminum, painted steel, or stainless steel strips. Slots

Perforated metal panel

Gypsum board backup stops sound from traveling through panel

Figure 52-2 Perforated metal ceiling panel.

Perforated metal panel

Mineral fiber or fiberglass acoustic insulation between the strips may be open or closed. Where they are open, a backing of batt insulation in the ceiling space allows sound absorption. Linear metal ceilings are usually used as part of a modular lighting and air-handling system.

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