Perforated Steel Stud to Improve the Acoustic Insulation of Drywall Partitions

Arun Arjunan*, Ahmad Baroutaji, John Robinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Steel studs are an inevitable part of drywall construction as they are lightweight and offer the required structural stability. However, the studs act as sound bridges between the plasterboards, reducing the overall sound insulation of the wall. Overcoming this often calls for wider cavity walls and complex stud decoupling fixtures that increase the installation cost while reducing the floor area. As an alternative approach, this research reveals the potential of perforated studs to improve the acoustic insulation of drywall partitions. The acoustic and structural performance is characterized using a validated finite element model that acted as a prediction tool in reducing the number of physical tests required. The results established that an acoustic numerical model featuring fluid-structure-interaction can predict the weighted sound reduction index of a stud wall assembly at an accuracy of ±1 dB. The model was used to analyze six perforated stud designs and found them to outperform the sound insulation of non-perforated drywall partitions by reducing the sound bridging. Overall, the best performing perforated stud design was found to offer improvements in acoustic insulation of up to 4 dB, while being structurally compliant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-694
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Early online date9 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


  • A-weighted pink noise
  • A-weighted urban noise
  • acoustic model
  • finite element analysis
  • partition walls
  • perforated studs
  • sound insulation
  • sound reduction index


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