Linux, politics, and other interesting things
Acoustiblok is an interesting product for blocking sound, it works by dissipating sound energy through friction within the sound barrier materiel . They sell it in varieties that are designed for use within walls and for use as fences. As it isn’t solid it won’t reflect sound so it can be used to line the walls to stop sound being reflected back at you. It’s design is based on NASA research.
The web site claims that a 3mm sheet of Acoustiblok gives a greater noise reduction than 12 inches (30.7cm) of poured concrete. I am a little dubious about that claim as I’ve read a report of someone using three layers of Acoustiblok to make a quiet room for recording music (and to be used as a play-room for an Autistic child). I find it difficult to imagine someone needing a meter of concrete to stop any sort of noise that they might encounter in a residential area so the fact that someone needed three layers of Acoustiblok is an indication that it might not be quite as good as they claim (although there is the possibility that Acoustiblok was badly installed). I wonder whether the claims about concrete concern particular frequencies. The technical specifications and product comparisons page  shows that Acoustiblok is least effective at 130Hz where it only reduces noise by 12dB and that it’s effectiveness increases to 38dB at 5KHz. So perhaps a concrete wall to stop low frequencies and Acoustiblok to stop high frequencies would be the best solution.
The same company also sells Thermablok  which is the first aerogel based insulation that I’ve seen being advertised for commercial sale. I guess that it must be rather expensive as they are mostly advertising it for use as thin strips to cover stud faces (steel studs conduct heat well and can cause a lot of heat loss). A note in their FAQ says that it’s available in rolls for insulating entire walls or floors. The FAQ also indicates that they sell samples suitable for science classes. They are also apparently looking for retailers, it would be nice if someone wanted to sell this in Australia.