Blachford’s Acoustics Lab: What actually goes on in there?
Welcome to one of the quietest rooms in the world.
This is the Hemi-Anechoic Chamber, part of the Blachford Acoustics Laboratory in West Chicago, IL, and it is where we analyze everything from small vehicles to large industrial construction equipment to solve noise and vibration issues.
There are very few rooms like this in the world. In fact, it’s so rare that people often ask us: Why do you need a room that is this quiet? This simple answer is that noise corrupts data.
Stop for a moment and listen to what is around you. If you’re in an office, you probably hear co-workers talking and typing away at their computers, noise from the HVAC system, cars outside of your building, phones and other things. It really is quite noisy.
Now, think about the quietest place you’ve ever been. When we ask people where this is, it is usually somewhere in nature – out in the wilderness where there are no people. But just because there are no people doesn’t mean it’s quiet.
If you were to sit outside, in the middle of nowhere, you would hear a lot. Wind rustling through the leaves, birds, small creatures rustling, trees creaking, and maybe even a river or car off in the distance or a plane flying over.
The truth is most people don’t now what quiet is until the door of the Hemi-Anechoic Chamber closes behind them. It’s so quiet that as you walk around you can hear the glue separating from the soles of your shoes as you walk, your hair as you run your hand through it and every single breath and heartbeat you make. It’s a very unique, and almost unnerving experience.
Why is the Acoustics Lab So Important?
When we bring a vehicle into this ISO/IEC 17025 certified chamber and shut the doors behind it, the whole world disappears. Noise from traffic, planes approaching Chicago O’Hare International Airport, wind, construction and everything else are stripped away – leaving only the sounds from this one source.
When there is no ambient noise or echoes (which is what anechoic means), we hear only the unwanted noises and vibrations.
This uncorrupted data allows us to determine base-line sound levels of your equipment, map all sound sources and paths, and compile all necessary data to solve even the most complicated noise and vibration issues.
With this data, we can work with you to develop a custom solution for your unique issues, from sound insulation to damping materials, acoustic barriers, sound absorption, acoustic enclosures, tuned absorbers and more.
From our point of view, silence is golden – especially when it comes to improving your products.