Acoustic Terms and Definitions: Noise Reduction Coefficient or NRC
Noise Reduction Coefficient or NRC rating is most commonly used to rate general acoustical properties of acoustic ceiling tiles, baffles, banners, office screens, and acoustic wall panels. It is occasionally used to rate floor coverings.
An NRC of 0.0 indicates the object does not attenuate mid-frequency sounds, but rather reflects sound energy. This is more conceptual than physically achievable: even very thick concrete walls will attenuate sound and may have an NRC of 0.05. Conversely, an NRC of 1.0 indicates that the material provides an acoustic surface area (in units sabin) that is equivalent to its physical, two-dimensional surface area. This rating is common of thicker, porous sound absorptive materials such as 2"-thick fabric-wrapped fiberglass panel. Materials can achieve NRC values greater than 1.00.
The noise reduction coefficient is the arithmetic average, rounded to the nearest multiple of 0.05, of the absorption coefficients for a specific material and mounting condition determined at the octave band center frequencies of 250, 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz