National Gypsum unveiled a new sound-reducing drywall product at the INTEX tradeshow in Orlando, Fla.

The product, Gold Bond Brand SoundBreak Gypsum Board, is being touted as a cost-effective, acoustically enhanced panel that answers the growing demand for quieter living spaces.

“SoundBreak is a more reliable, less complicated way to achieve higher sound transmission class (STC) ratings,” said Chris Pinckney, product manager, gypsum systems for National Gypsum. “Mass and constrained-layer damping play an important role in a wall’s ability to decrease sound transmission. SoundBreak is unique in that it has a viscoelastic polymer that offers constrained-layer damping sandwiched between two pieces of high-density gypsum board that provide increased mass.”

STC ratings indicate how well wall partitions resist airborne sound. An STC of 55 or higher is a realistic goal for acceptable sound insulation, according to the National Research Council of Canada. The higher the STC rating, the more likely a partition will eliminate typical noise from an adjoining room, such as normal or loud conversation, a baby crying, dogs barking or sounds made by kitchen appliances.

All SoundBreak Gypsum Board designs have been tested by Riverbank Acoustical Labs or the National Research Center of Canada using full scale ASTM E90 test procedure.

“SoundBreak installs and finishes like traditional gypsum board. It’s an alternative to existing sound-damping solutions like double and staggered stud walls and sound clips or channels that can be difficult to install,” said Pinckney. “And while the depth of other solutions can detract from valuable floor space, SoundBreak allows installers to build a wall with a high STC rating and still maximize valuable square footage.”

SoundBreak Gypsum Board can be used as a single-layer application or as a component of multi-layered wall assemblies. It is available in sheets 4 feet wide and 8, 9, 10 and 12 feet in length.

Though SoundBreak cannot be used as a substitute for 5/8-inch Type X board in a fire-rated assembly, it can be used as an additional layer in all UL fire-rated assemblies without compromising the fire rating. For example, upgrading a UL U465 with an additional layer of SoundBreak can increase its STC rating by 7 to 10 points.

It was developed combining technology from National Gypsum and from Quiet Solution, a division of Serious Materials.