Comparison and Testing of Various Noise Wall Materials

Noise barriers are a necessary structure along the highway to protect the local residents from excessive road noise. There are many different materials from which noise barriers can be constructed. As of 2004, the most widely used noise barrier material was concrete which accounts for approximately 80 percent of all the noise barriers in the United States. Other noise barrier materials include metal, plastic, wood or soil. Each of the materials used to construct noise barriers has advantages and disadvantages both acoustically and aesthetically. This study was done to determine which of the currently used noise barrier materials in Ohio produced the largest noise reduction. There were seven different materials field tested across the State of Ohio; absorptive concrete walls, reflective concrete walls, hollow fiberglass walls, rubber-filled fiberglass walls, steel walls, clear walls and earthen berms. The noise barriers were tested by measuring noise levels in front of the barrier, above the barrier and behind the barrier while recording traffic data (volume, class, and lane position) and atmospheric conditions. The noise reduction results across the various barrier materials were then compared to determine which material yielded the greatest noise reduction. The Traffic Noise Model (TNM) parameters were set to replicate each site that was tested and the noise reduction results from the model were recorded. The results from the model and the field were then compared to determine if the model is an accurate representation of the field.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 224p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01535687
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA/OH-2014/8
  • Contract Numbers: SJN 134697
  • Created Date: Aug 7 2014 11:27AM