Managing Impact Energy

A falling object, like a foot or weight, has kinetic energy. When the object hits the floor, that kinetic energy gets distributed to many places: back to the object (bounce), into the room (impact sound), to the room below (impact sound), to the floor (heat).

Ecore's products are all about managing where that energy goes. In acoustics, we typically care about the impact sound in the room where the object hits, and in the adjacent rooms — especially the room below.

Ecore-engineered surfaces can significantly reduce noise caused by impacts, whether it's the footsteps of a nurse or a dropped dumbbell.

Types of

Impact Sound

The energy of a falling object depends on its mass and how far it falls. The falling objects could be the footsteps of a nurse, footsteps on a treadmill during a PT session, or a dropped dumbbell.

Ecore's products are designed to manage this energy. The best products to use and the ways they're tested depend on the amount of energy and how we want to manage it. ​The energy created from the impact has two general transmission paths.

1. In-room Impact Noise – sound level in room where the impact occurs​
2. Transmitted Impact Noise – sound level in adjacent room, typically below impact

1. In-Room Impact Noise

2. Transmitted Impact Noise

Transmitted impact noise is typically measured in the room below where the impact occurs.​ The tests most commonly referred to for impact noise are the Impact Insulation Class (IIC) and the Delta Impact Insulation Class (ΔIIC). The IIC rating is based on the entire floor/ceiling structure and can be affected by relatively small details, like the type of gypsum board and whether or not the flooring and underlayment are glued down. The ΔIIC rating evaluates just the flooring and underlayment but is always tested on a concrete slab and is therefore not applicable to wood-framed and other assemblies.


Two new ratings, HIIC and ΔHIIC, focus on the mid- and high-frequency ranges that are affected most by flooring and underlayments. These ratings give greater insight into the relative acoustical performance of various flooring and underlayment combinations, as evidenced by the chart showing the IIC and HIIC ratings for different underlayment thicknesses on a concrete slab. This gives a more precise reading of how the flooring and underlayment affect the transmitted impact sound.

Ecore's range of products provides unique solutions that significantly reduce impact noise while also providing the safety and ergonomic performance necessary for a wide range of uses.

The Facts Behind

Acoustic Performance

IIC ratings are a helpful reference for residences and other uses where footsteps are the primary concern for impact sound, but IIC ratings don't apply to noise from heavy-weight impacts in fitness spaces.

The tapping machine used in IIC and ΔIIC tests has 1.1-lb. weights dropped from 1.6 in. These impacts are not nearly enough to represent the energy from 35-lb. dumbbells and kettlebells dropped from one or two feet, or 250-lb. barbells dropped from five or six feet high. That's why Ecore provides information like the heavy-weight impact test data shown below.

Our Commitment

Ecore is committed to providing the test data and support needed to choose the right materials for your noise issues.

Ecore has hundreds of laboratory acoustic tests and is involved in research and standards development through organizations like ASTM, the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), and the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE).​

See below for some of our heavy-weight impact testing data.


Ecore Commercial surfaces performed with:

  • A 16-lb. shot being dropped from 39-3/8" (1m) high
  • A 35-lb. kettlebell being dropped from 18" (0.457m) high
  • A 100-lb. plate weight being dropped from 18" (0.457m) high

Testing Data

The following table provides a summary of some of the overall acoustical performance attributes for our products. Although we've stated above that the IIC and ΔIIC ratings don't apply to heavy-weight impacts, we've included them here because they still apply to footsteps from activities like group exercise classes.

Because at Ecore we believe less noise is MORE.

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