Acoustic Screen

Rooftop Acoustic Screen constructed from SPS Acoustic Panels

SPS is an easily erected and effective acoustic barrier system for screening around exterior noise sources. SPS acoustic screens are suitable for the control of many types of environmental noise. Typical applications range from long runs at road or rail side, to rooftop noise screens around ventilation plant.

SPS panels consist of a high density lamella acoustic core with a bonded surface of perforated and plain powder-coated steel. The perforated, sound absorbing side faces the noise source giving significantly better performance than a sound reflective barrier.

There are two version of SPS panels:

SPS/H designed for horizontal or vertical installation.

SPS/H panels are available in 50 or 80mm thickness.

SPS/H panels are manufactured with a tongue and groove edge detail. For large installations – such as road barriers – panels span horizontally between structural posts. For smaller applications – such as rooftop screens – panels are slotted together vertically against structural post and rail type supports. This is similar to SPS/V support arrangements.

SPS/V panels are designed for vertical installation.

The primary use of SPS/V panels is as a very adaptable acoustic barrier around plant areas. SPS/V panels are supplied with clip joints for the long sides, and are designed for vertical installation with support steelwork. Roof top screens are normally attached to existing structures – details vary accordingly. Where mechanical fixing into structural elements is not possible, screens can be provided with a free standing frame arrangement. The frames incorporate concrete paving ballast to suit site conditions, wind loadings etc.

The acoustic performance of a screen is determined by the relative positions of source, screen and measurement point as well as the physical characteristics of the screen and the environment. Each case needs to be individually assessed to determine the likely performance. Guidance is provided by the following:

Sound Reduction: ISO 140/3 (db)

This measures the sound transmission characteristics of the panel system as a complete barrier (SPS/H   SPS/V)

Hertz: 125 250 500 1K 2K
SPS50 18 24 30 35 42 Rw34
SPS80 19 26 32 38 41 Rw36

Sound Absorption: ISO 354

The test is for the sound absorption coefficient of the panel under laboratory conditions. (SPS/H &h; SPS/V)

Hertz: 125 250 500 1K 2K
SPS50 0.35 0.7 0.9 0.9 0.9 (Abs.Coeff)
SPS80 0.6 0.75 0.95 0.95 0.9 (Abs.Coeff)
European Standard EN1793 provides a standardised method for assessing the performance of road and rail barriers.

Noise barriers are rated according to the following categories:

Sound Absorption: A1 (worst) up to A4 (best)
Sound Reduction: B1 (worst) up to B3 (best)
Sound Absorption: Performance of SPS/H Acoustic Barriers
Road Traffic (30 mph, 55 mph) Class A3
Rail Traffic (high speed) Class A4
Rail Traffic (low and medium speed) Class A3
Sound Reduction: Performance of SPS/H Acoustic Barriers
Road Traffic (30 mph, 55 mph) Class B3
Rail Traffic (All Speeds) Class B3
SPS acoustic panels are constructed from steel and acoustic Rockfibre and therefore do not burn: Reaction to Fire (EN13501-1) A2:s1:d0.

SPS panels are designed for exterior use and are resistant to high humidity, rain and snow. They have been in use in exposed environments for over 15 years.


(with T & G joint for horizontal and vertical installation)

2000 x 555 x 50

2000 x 1180 x 50

3000 x 555 x 80

3000 x 1180 x 80

Longer panels with internal reinforcement are manufactured to order.


(with acoustic clip joint for vertical installation)

2500 x 565 x 50 (clip)

3000 x 565 x 50 (clip)

Longer panels are manufactured to order.


SPS50 19.1kg/m2

SPS80 24.2kg/m2

Standard SPS/V panels are light grey RAL 7044 on both faces. This is a stock colour.

SPS/V and SPS/H panels are available in galvanised, natural aluminium and powder-coated finish to standard RAL shades.

SPS panels are manufactured from light grey polyester pre-coated steel with a plain finish to the exterior and perforated finish to the interior. Alternative pre-coated finishes are available subject to minimum order requirements. Uprights are galvanised or powder-coated to match the panels. For corrosive conditions – e.g. marine environments and facing salted roads – panels can be manufactured in aluminium. All panels are also available in natural galvanised or powder-coated finishes. Panels are cleaned with a soft brush and liquid detergents.

SPS/H – Horizontal Installation

SPS/H panels are specifically assessed under EN1794 for mechanical properties and stability as road and rail barrier systems. Standard lengths (2m @ 50mm thick; 3m @ 80mm thick) meet the requirements of EN1794-1 and EN1794-2. Longer panels with internal reinforcement (suffix R) also meet these requirements (2.6m @ 50mm; 3.6m @ 80mm). Where SPS/H panels are used for other acoustic screening applications, longer spans are permissible.

Maximum span of SPS/H acoustic panels installed horizontally between posts (3m high screen)

Panel Type Road/Rail Acoustic Barrier
SPS/H 50mm 2000
SPS/H 50mm R 2600
SPS/H 80mm 3000
SPS/H 80mm R 3600 (3000 aluminium)

SPS/V – Vertical Installation

panels are attached to steelwork which provides the required structural characteristics. Standard panel heights (2500/3000) in exposed positions should be supported at base, head and centre position. Specific guidance can be supplied by our technical department.

The lifetime of an external acoustic screen is difficult to predict due to wide variations in conditions. SPS acoustic barriers and screens have been in use for over 15 years without evidence of significant deterioration. This is supported by accelerated ageing tests in a laboratory. So long as basic maintenance is carried out, the lifetime of an SPS acoustic screen under normal conditions is expected to be at least 20 years. The lifetime of an aluminium SPS panel system is expected to be at least 25 years. In all cases there will be some fading of colour during the lifetime of the screen
SPS screens can be designed to incorporate doors, acoustic louvres and demountable sections to suit individual requirements.

Copyright © Acousticabs Industrial Noise Control Ltd 2018.