Often, but not always, acoustical insulation is used in place of thermal insulation, and vice versa. Often also, both are used for the same purpose. But the thermal and acoustical properties of a material are different and often not related. Hence a good thermal insulator may or may not be a good acoustical insulator. The physics of heat transfer and sound are different. As a result, the results of testing of the materials for one property do not necessarily provide any indication of the other property. This paper discusses the commonalties and differences of the thermal and acoustical materials used for exterior building elements and discuss national and international methods of acoustical test, emphasizing ASTM testing where appropriate.
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