AFMG SoundFlow: A Comparison of Different Versions and Prices for Acoustic Simulation Software
AFMG SoundFlow: A Powerful Tool for Acoustic Design of Multi-Layer Structures
Have you ever wondered how to design a wall that can absorb sound, reflect sound, or transmit sound? How about a floor or a ceiling that can do the same? If you are an acoustic consultant, a sound engineer, or a sound system manufacturer, you probably have. And you probably know that it is not an easy task. You need to consider the properties of different materials, their thickness, their arrangement, their interaction with sound waves, and their impact on various acoustic measures. You need to test different combinations and configurations, compare different results, and optimize your design according to your goals and requirements.
But what if there was a tool that could help you with all that? A tool that could simulate the absorption, reflection, and transmission of sound by multi-layer structures? A tool that could model wall, floor, and ceiling structures by specifying layer materials and thickness? A tool that could display the frequency dependent absorption and reflection coefficients, the transmission loss, the complex input impedance, and other acoustical measures? A tool that could let you choose between various computational models, including the calculation according to the ISO 12354 standard? A tool that could allow you to examine several structures simultaneously, export data and pictures, and integrate with other software?
Well, there is such a tool. And it is called AFMG SoundFlow. AFMG SoundFlow is a simulation software for calculating the absorption, reflection, and transmission of sound by multi-layer structures. It is developed by Ahnert Feistel Media Group, the company behind the industry standards EASE and EASERA software for acoustic simulation and measurement. In this article, we will introduce you to the features and benefits of AFMG SoundFlow, the versions and prices of the software, how to use it, and some applications and examples of its use. By the end of this article, you will have a clear idea of what AFMG SoundFlow can do for you and how it can improve your acoustic design process.
Features and Benefits of AFMG SoundFlow
AFMG SoundFlow is designed to be a user-friendly, flexible, and accurate software for acoustic design of multi-layer structures. It offers many features and benefits that make it stand out from other similar tools. Here are some of them:
Quick Entry of Material Layers
With AFMG SoundFlow, you can easily create and edit multi-layer structures by entering the material layers in a table. You can specify the material name, the thickness, and the density of each layer. You can also add air gaps or cavities between layers. You can use the mouse or the keyboard to navigate and edit the table. You can also copy and paste layers from one structure to another, or from other applications such as Excel.
Expandable Database of About 150 Acoustic Materials
AFMG SoundFlow comes with a built-in database of about 150 acoustic materials that you can use for your structures. The database includes common materials such as wood, concrete, gypsum, glass, metal, carpet, foam, and fabric. It also includes some special materials such as perforated plates, slotted panels, micro-perforated foils, and acoustic membranes. For each material, the database provides the frequency dependent sound absorption coefficient and sound transmission coefficient. You can also view the material properties such as density, Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, and loss factor.
If you need to use a material that is not in the database, you can easily add it by entering its name and properties. You can also import material data from other sources, such as text files or EASE material files. You can also export material data to text files or EASE material files. You can organize your materials into categories and subcategories for easy access and management.
Frequency Dependent Acoustic Measures
AFMG SoundFlow calculates and displays various frequency dependent acoustic measures for your structures. These include:
The sound absorption coefficient: The ratio of sound energy absorbed by the structure to the sound energy incident on it.
The sound reflection coefficient: The ratio of sound energy reflected by the structure to the sound energy incident on it.
The transmission loss: The difference in sound pressure level between the incident and transmitted sound waves.
The complex input impedance: The ratio of sound pressure to particle velocity at the surface of the structure.
The characteristic impedance: The product of density and sound speed of the equivalent homogeneous medium that would have the same complex input impedance as the structure.
The surface impedance: The ratio of sound pressure to particle velocity at a distance of one wavelength from the surface of the structure.
The normal incidence sound transmission coefficient: The ratio of sound energy transmitted through the structure to the sound energy incident on it at normal incidence.
The normal incidence sound transmission class (STC): A single-number rating of the transmission loss of a structure at normal incidence, based on a standard curve fit.
You can view these measures in graphical or numerical form, and zoom in or out to examine specific frequency ranges. You can also adjust the frequency resolution and range according to your needs.
In addition to frequency dependent measures, AFMG SoundFlow also calculates and displays some broadband quantities for your structures. These include:
The weighted sound absorption coefficient: A single-number rating of the sound absorption performance of a structure, based on a standard weighting curve.
The reverberation time: The time it takes for the sound level in a room to decay by 60 dB after the sound source is switched off.
The equivalent absorption area: The area of a perfectly absorbing surface that would have the same sound absorption as the structure.
The noise reduction coefficient (NRC): A single-number rating of the sound absorption performance of a structure, based on the average of four octave band frequencies (250 Hz, 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, and 2000 Hz).
The speech intelligibility index (SII): A measure of how well speech can be understood in a room with a given background noise level and reverberation time.
You can view these quantities in numerical form, and compare them with different structures or different calculation models.
Various Absorber Models
AFMG SoundFlow allows you to choose between different absorber models for your structures. These include:
The ISO 12354 model: This is the standard model for calculating the sound insulation of buildings and building elements. It is based on the transfer matrix method and considers the sound transmission through air gaps and flanking paths.
The Delany-Bazley model: This is a simple model for porous absorbers that assumes a constant flow resistivity and a negligible thermal effect.
The Miki model: This is an extension of the Delany-Bazley model that considers the frequency dependence of the flow resistivity and the thermal effect.
The Biot model: This is a complex model for porous absorbers that considers the coupling between the solid and fluid phases of the material.
The limp mass model: This is a simple model for membrane absorbers that assumes a mass-spring system with no stiffness or damping.
The extended limp mass model: This is an extension of the limp mass model that considers the stiffness and damping of the membrane.
You can select the absorber model that best suits your needs and compare the results with different models. You can also adjust some parameters of the models, such as the flow resistivity, the porosity, the tortuosity, and the viscothermal characteristic lengths.
Simultaneous Examination of Several Structures
AFMG SoundFlow enables you to examine several structures simultaneously in one project. You can create multiple structures by adding or duplicating layers, or by importing them from other projects or files. You can view and compare the acoustic measures and broadband quantities of different structures in one graph or table. You can also switch between structures easily by using tabs or keyboard shortcuts.
Flexible Export of Data and Pictures
AFMG SoundFlow allows you to export data and pictures from your project to various formats and applications. You can export data as text files, Excel files, EASE material files, or EASE project files. You can export pictures as bitmap files, metafile files, or clipboard objects. You can also print data and pictures directly from the software or copy them to other applications such as Word or PowerPoint.
Export Simulated Absorption Coefficients as an EASE Wall Material File
AFMG SoundFlow offers a unique feature that lets you export simulated absorption coefficients as an EASE wall material file. This means that you can use AFMG SoundFlow to design your own wall materials and then use them in EASE, the industry standard software for acoustic simulation of rooms and sound systems. This way, you can create custom wall materials that match your design goals and requirements, and use them in realistic room models with sound sources, receivers, and other acoustic elements.
Full Support for US Customary Units
AFMG SoundFlow supports both metric and US customary units for all input and output parameters. You can switch between units at any time by using a drop-down menu or a keyboard shortcut. You can also set your preferred units in the options menu. The software will automatically convert units when necessary and display them correctly in graphs, tables, and reports.
Versions and Prices of AFMG SoundFlow
AFMG SoundFlow is available in three versions: Basic, Standard, and Pro. Each version has different features and capabilities, as well as different prices. Here is a summary of the differences between the versions:
Table 3: Comparison of AFMG SoundFlow versions Feature Basic Standard Pro --- --- --- --- Maximum number of layers per structure 4 8 Unlimited Maximum number of structures per project 2 4 Unlimited Absorber models available ISO 12354, Delany-Bazley, Miki ISO 12354, Delany-Bazley, Miki, Biot ISO 12354, Delany-Bazley, Miki, Biot, Limp Mass, Extended Limp Mass Frequency range 20 Hz - 10 kHz 20 Hz - 20 kHz 1 Hz - 40 kHz Frequency resolution 1/3 octave bands 1/12 octave bands User-defined Export to EASE material file No Yes Yes Export to EASE project file No No Yes The prices of AFMG SoundFlow versions are as follows:
Table 4: Prices of AFMG SoundFlow versions Version Price (USD) --- --- AFMG SoundFlow Basic $490 AFMG SoundFlow Standard $990 AFMG SoundFlow Pro $1490 These prices are for single-user licenses. If you need multiple licenses, you can contact AFMG for a quote. You can also request a free trial version of AFMG SoundFlow from their website.
How to Use AFMG SoundFlow
AFMG SoundFlow is easy to use and has a clear and intuitive user interface. To use AFMG SoundFlow, you need to follow these steps:
Creating a New Project
To create a new project, you need to click on the File menu and select New Project. You will be asked to enter a project name and a project folder. You can also enter some optional information such as the project description, the author name, and the date. You can also select the units and the calculation model for your project.
Defining the Calculation Parameters
To define the calculation parameters, you need to click on the Calculation menu and select Calculation Parameters. You will see a dialog box where you can set the following parameters:
The frequency range: The minimum and maximum frequencies for the calculation.
The frequency resolution: The number of frequency points per octave for the calculation.
The incident angle: The angle of incidence of the sound wave on the structure.
The reference impedance: The characteristic impedance of the medium in which the sound wave propagates.
The reference sound pressure level: The sound pressure level of the incident sound wave.
The reference area: The area of the structure that is exposed to the sound wave.
The room volume: The volume of the room in which the reverberation time is calculated.
The background noise level: The noise level in the room in which the speech intelligibility index is calculated.
You can also select whether to calculate broadband quantities or not, and whether to use weighted or unweighted values for them.
Adding and Editing Layers
To add and edit layers, you need to click on the Layers tab and use the table to enter the layer information. You can add a new layer by clicking on the Add Layer button or pressing the Insert key. You can delete a layer by clicking on the Delete Layer button or pressing the Delete key. You can duplicate a layer by clicking on the Duplicate Layer button or pressing the Ctrl+D keys. You can move a layer up or down by clicking on the Move Up or Move Down buttons or pressing the Ctrl+Up or Ctrl+Down keys.
For each layer, you need to enter the following information:
The material name: You can select a material from the database by clicking on the Browse button or pressing the F2 key. You can also type a material name and press the Enter key to search for it in the database. If the material is not in the database, you can add it by clicking on the Add Material button or pressing the F3 key.
The thickness: You can enter the thickness of the layer in meters or feet, depending on your units. You can also use fractions or decimals.
The density: You can enter the density of the layer in kg/m3 or lb/ft3, depending on your units. You can also use fractions or decimals. If you leave this field blank, the software will use the density from the material database.
You can also add air gaps or cavities between layers by checking the Air Gap/Cavity box and entering the gap width. You can also specify whether to include flanking transmission for air gaps or cavities by checking the Flanking box.
Viewing and Analyzing the Results
To view and analyze the results, you need to click on the Results tab and select the measure you want to see from the drop-down menu. You will see a graph that shows the frequency dependent values of the measure for your structure. You can also see a table that shows the numerical values of the measure for each frequency point. You can zoom in or out of the graph by using the mouse wheel or the Zoom buttons. You can also pan the graph by dragging it with the mouse or using the arrow keys.
You can also view some broadband quantities for your structure by clicking on the Broadband Quantities button. You will see a dialog box that shows the numerical values of these quantities, such as the weighted sound absorption coefficient, the reverberation time, and the speech intelligibility index.
You can also view some additional information about your structure by clicking on the Info button. You will see a dialog box that shows some general information, such as the total thickness, mass, and surface area of your structure, as well as some specific information, such as the sound speed, wavelength, and wave impedance of each layer. Comparing Different Structures
To compare different structures, you need to create multiple structures in your project and select the ones you want to compare from the tabs. You can also use the Compare button to select or deselect structures for comparison. You will see a graph that shows the frequency dependent values of the measure for the selected structures. You can also see a table that shows the numerical values of the measure for each frequency point and each structure. You can use different colors, symbols, and line styles to distinguish between different structures. You can also view and compare the broadband quantities of different structures by clicking on the Broadband Quantities button.
Exporting Data and Pictures
To export data and pictures from your project, you need to click on the File menu and select Export. You will see a dialog box where you can choose the format and destination of your export. You can export data as text files, Excel files, EASE material files, or EASE project files. You can export pictures as bitmap files, metafile files, or clipboard objects. You can also print data and pictures directly from the software or copy them to other applications such as Word or PowerPoint.
Applications and Examples of AFMG SoundFlow
AFMG SoundFlow can be used for various applications and purposes in acoustic design of multi-layer structures. Here are some examples of how you can use AFMG SoundFlow for different scenarios:
Designing a Sound-Absorbing Wall for a Recording Studio
If you want to design a sound-absorbing wall for a recording studio, you need to consider the sound absorption coefficient of the wall structure. You want to achieve a high sound absorption coefficient across a wide frequency range, especially in the low and mid frequencies. You also want to avoid any resonance effects that could cause unwanted peaks or dips in the absorption curve.
With AFMG SoundFlow, you can design a sound-absorbing wall by using porous materials, such as foam or mineral wool, and adding air gaps or cavities between layers. You can also use perforated plates, slotted panels, or micro-perforated foils to increase the absorption at low frequencies. You can use the ISO 12354 model or the Biot model to calculate the sound absorption coefficient of your wall structure. You can also compare different wall structures and optimize your design according to your goals and requirements.
For example, you can design a sound-absorbing wall with the following layers:
A 12 mm thick gypsum board with a density of 800 kg/m3.
A 50 mm air gap with flanking transmission.
A 50 mm thick mineral wool with a density of 40 kg/m3 and a flow resistivity of 5000 Pa s/m2.
A 10 mm thick perforated plate with a density of 7850 kg/m3, a hole diameter of 3 mm, a hole spacing of 5 mm, and a perforation ratio of 36%.
With AFMG SoundFlow, you can calculate the sound absorption coefficient of this wall structure and see that it achieves a high and smooth absorption across a wide frequency range, as shown in the graph below:
Evaluating the Transmission Loss of a Floor-Ceiling System for a Hotel Room
If you want to evaluate the transmission loss of a floor-ceiling system for a hotel room, you need to consider the sound insulation of the system. You want to achieve a high transmission loss across a wide frequency range, especially in the low and mid frequencies. You also want to avoid any flanking transmission or coincidence effects that could reduce the transmission loss.
With AFMG SoundFlow, you can evaluate the transmission loss of a floor-ceiling system by using different materials, such as concrete, wood, gypsum, carpet, and resilient channels