At the newly built Barceló Raval design hotel in Barcelona, Spain, sound absorbers made from Basotect® are improving the room acoustics. The lobby of the ten-story, four-star hotel has around 2200 ceiling baffles which are made from BASF's flexible melamine resin foam and ensure optimum speech intelligibility. The low weight of Basotect and the possibility to easily manufacture different shapes gave the interior designer great freedom of design when it came to decorating the lobby. The acoustic baffles of different sizes were produced by the Spanish foam manufacturer Tecno-Spuma, SL, Sant Adrià De Besòs (Barcelona).
Very good sound absorption and freedom of design
The low weight of Basotect meant that it was possible to fit cylindrical sound absorbers to the ceiling that look like free-floating elements and blend in aesthetically with the design of the lobby. As the lobby also has a restaurant and a bar, the sound-absorbing qualities of BASF's melamine resin foam were decisive when it came to choosing the sound insulation. Thanks to its open-cell, fine-foam structure, the flame-retardant material is noted for its very good acoustic absorption in the medium and high frequency ranges. The ceiling elements made from Basotect reduce the echo which is caused by multiple reflection of sound on reverberant surfaces. This improves the level of speech intelligibility in spaces where a lot of people stay, e.g. public buildings, theaters, cinemas and restaurants. Noise peaks can also be effectively suppressed with the absorber baffles. The low weight of the flame-retardant foam means that it can be attached using simple techniques, e.g. cable structures. This renders additional static ceiling evaluation unnecessary in most cases.
Basotect, the jack-of-all-trades
Thanks to its favorable combination of different properties – it is temperature-resistant and flame-retardant (M1: "non inflammable", according to the French fire classification N FP 92-501), lightweight, flexible, sound-absorbing and thermally insulating – Basotect is used to acoustically and thermally insulate buildings, cars and trains. The thermoset foam is now available in several grades for various applications. For example, it protects the sensitive satellites that the Ariane 5 launcher delivers into space. Since last year, it has been used in Beijing's Olympic swimming stadium as acoustic damping in a new type of suspended structure, and it will soon be found in the planes by the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing.