Effect of Coating Thickness on Sound Absorption Property of Four Wood Species Commonly Used for Piano Soundboards


  • Wei Xu
  • Xiaoyang Fang
  • Jiatong Han
  • Zhihui Wu
  • Jilei Zhang


Piano soundboard, spruce wood, coating thicknesses, specific gravity, sound absorption coefficient


Effects of polyurethane (PU) coating thicknesses (0.15, 0.30, 0.45, and 0.60 mm) on sound absorption coefficients of four wood species were investigated using the standing wave ratio method with an input sound vibration frequency range set between 125 and 4000 Hz. Wood species of four specific gravity (SG) levels were Korean spruce, European spruce, Sitka spruce, and Picea brachytyla. Experimental results indicated that PU coating can significantly increase sound absorption coefficients of higher SG species such as Sitka spruce and Picea brachytyla in all tested frequency levels, but this significant increase was not observed in lower SG species such as Korean and European spruces when tested in the frequency range from 800 to 2000 Hz. Effects of coating thickness on sound absorption coefficients of four evaluated species were found to interact with wood SG values and input sound vibration frequency ranges. Specifically, coating 0.30-mm-thick PU on Korean and European spruces tends to result in significantly lower sound absorption coefficients among the ones coated with four evaluated thicknesses when tested at the frequency less than 800 Hz, but PU coating thickness resulting in lower sound absorption coefficients on Sitka spruce and Picea brachytyla was 0.15 mm. Sitka spruce and Picea brachytyla coated with 0.30- and 0.6-mm-thick PU had lower sound absorption coefficients when tested at the frequency ranging from 1000 to 2000 Hz. When tested at the frequency greater than 2500 Hz, sound absorption coefficients of four coated species increased as coating thickness increased from 0.30 to 0.60 mm with an increment of 0.15 mm, but these four species coated with three thicker PU had significantly lower sound absorption coefficients than the ones coated with 0.15-mm-thick PU. The uncoated higher SG species tended to have lower sound absorption coefficients than uncoated lower SG ones when tested in the frequency ranging from 500 to 4000 Hz, but the differences were not found when tested under the frequency less than 400 Hz. Coating four species with different thicknesses of PU could alter their SG effects on their sound absorption coefficients.


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Research Contributions