Standard: ASTM E2179 – Standard Test Method for Laboratory Measurement of the Effectiveness of Floor Coverings in Reducing Impact Sound Transmission Through Concrete Floors

Certification Required: Acoustical certification is currently not required by building codes, however the Delta IIC rating can be used to rank order materials that are installed on concrete floors in a building.

Scope: This test method describes a method for the laboratory measurement of the effectiveness of floor coverings in reducing impact noise from a standard tapping machine through concrete floors. The test results are not necessarily directly related to the subjective evaluations of the floor coverings.

Applicable Products: Floor coverings and floor underlayment products, are applicable for this test method. For Category 1 products, three 1 x 0.5 meter samples would be required. For Category 2 products, the flooring product would need to cover the entire 10’ wide by 12’ long concrete slab.

Test Procedure: The test chambers consist of one reverberation room located directly above another reverberation room with a test opening between them. The concrete slab is installed into a test frame which is then placed in the opening between the test chambers. Care is taken that the only significant sound transmission path between the rooms is by way of the test specimen. The tapping machine is operated in four different locations on the bare concrete slab (as specified in the standard) while the sound pressure levels are measured at four microphone locations in the room below. With the concrete slab still in place, the sound absorption and the background sound levels are also measured in the receiving room. The tapping machine sound pressure levels and the sound absorption in the receiving room are used to calculate the normalized sound pressure level, Ln at the standard 1/3 octave band frequencies from 100 to 3150 Hertz. The flooring product is then installed on the bare concrete slab and the test is repeated. For Category 1 products, the tapping machine is placed in the middle of each 1 x 0.5 m sample. For Category 2 products, the tapping machine would be operated in the same four positions used for the bare concrete slab test.

End Result: The test report will include the normalized sound pressure level from 100 to 3150 Hertz for the bare concrete slab, the slab with the floor covering and the calculated levels for the reference floor. The improvement in impact insulation class (Delta IIC) will also be reported.

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