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CUSTOM ACOUSTICAL PANEL EDGE HARDENING

(Soft Edged Acoustical Panels are the Best Bang for the Buck)

Custom Fiberglass acoustical wall and ceiling panels had their origins in Canada over three decades ago. Subsequently fabric covered fiberglass panels were replicated throughout the USA. In today’s marketplace, resin reinforcing of the panel edges is redundant based on the nature of the fiberglass produced today.


The 7-pound per cubic foot density fiberglass originally produced by Fiberglass Canada Inc. was a sanded glass board. The Sarnia, Ontario plant had a sanding capability through the use of a double sander that could be rolled into place in the production line when the 7-pcf fiberglass was being produced. The sanded surface provided a very smooth surface, making it an ideal product to which a variety of woven and non-woven fabrics could be adhesively applied. The finished panel product resulted in a smooth faced panel.


Unfortunately, the 7 pcf Canadian fiberglass was very short fibered glass board that was subject to edge damage when handling the board. To overcome this problem the originators of the custom fiberglass wall panels impregnated the edge of the fiberglass panels with a polyester resin which, when cured provided an integral hardened edge frame around the panel edge perimeter.


Subsequently competitive acoustical panel products produced in the USA followed suit in providing resin edge hardened panels. In recent years US fiberglass production not only provides a smooth faced fiberglass but also a long fibered and highly resilient glass board that is capable of absorbing a great deal of impact. Today’s fiberglass board allows successful edge profile machining that makes the use of resin edge hardening unnecessary. Furthermore, soft edged acoustical wall panels can provide improved acoustical performance through the “area effect” at a lower cost.


Soft edged, fabric covered acoustical wall panels have been subjected to being driven over by an automobile. To the trained eye it is apparent that some of the glass fibers were fractured but little or no visual damage was evident. While few, if any acoustical wall panels will ever be subject to such a harsh test it is nevertheless a testimony to the resilience and impact resistance of today’s fiberglass acoustical core materials.