Sky Acoustics vs. Armstrong, Decoustics, and More

The fastest growing acoustical ceiling supplier in North America didn’t become that way without consistently beating the competition on quality of product, lead time, price, and capabilities.

This article will focus on the torsion-spring acoustical panel system. The information below is based on the current, publicly available information as of 8/1/19.

Products Compared:

Sky Acoustics - AURA / APTUS

Armstrong - ALTITUDES

Decoustics - Claro / Ceilencio

Overview:

Sky Acoustics AURA/APTUS acoustical ceiling system consistently beats the competition through minor product changes that translate to major improvements for installation, projects schedule, and the quality of finished product.

System: Radial AURA Panels Project: IPSOFT, NYC Architect: Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM)

System: Radial AURA Panels
Project: IPSOFT, NYC
Architect: Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM)

OVERVIEW

Sky Acoustics Aura/Aptus ceiling panels are custom manufactured to offer great design flexibility with a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from curved panels and geometric shapes as well as flat panels of standard and large sizes. Below is a rendering of a typical AURA/APTUS system.

Features:

  • Perfect 1/8" Aluminum-Edge Joints

  • Precise Panel Layout and Suspension - Made to Size

  • 100% Accessibility & Inherent Impact Resistance

  • Internal Aluminum Frame Offering Edge Protection

  • Pre-Cut APTUS Suspension Allows for Lighting and Mechanical Freedom Custom Shapes,

  • Custom Colors (Can Match Any BM or SW Paint Color)


COMPARISON

Using Sky Acoustics’ Aura/Aptus over standard ceiling panels provide several benefits including a perfect aluminum-edge defined joint, controlled panel thickness, delamination control, seamless edge profile, and extra large panel sizes. Our competition does not have the perfect 1/8” aluminum edge panel joints, torsion spring tear drops, a concealed HDF face, or 4-8 week lead time.

Using Sky Acoustics’ Aura/Aptus over standard ceiling panels provide several benefits including a perfect aluminum-edge defined joint, controlled panel thickness, delamination control, seamless edge profile, and extra large panel sizes. Our competition does not have the perfect 1/8” aluminum edge panel joints, torsion spring tear drops, a concealed HDF face, or 4-8 week lead time.

EDGE DETAIL: Sky Acoustics (Left) vs the Competition (Right)

EDGE DETAIL: Sky Acoustics (Left) vs the Competition (Right)

Sky acoustics panel on the left demonstrates how the aluminum edge conceals and protects the high density fiberglass while the competition leaves the high density fiberglass exposed and susceptible to damage.

Sky acoustics panel on the left demonstrates how the aluminum edge conceals and protects the high density fiberglass while the competition leaves the high density fiberglass exposed and susceptible to damage.

PERFECT ALUMINUM EDGE BENEFITS:

  • Perfect Aluminum-Edge Defined Joint

  • Controlled Panel Thickness (HDF thickness can vary if applied on top of aluminum)

  • Delamination Control

  • Seamless Edge Profile

  • Extra Large Panel Sizes


AURA Panels | General Information

Panel Types & Sizes:

Flat, curved, and other geometric shapes in any standard or custom sizes. Typical width size up to 48” (1220mm) and 96” (2440mm) in length is used for easy handling and installation. Larger widths are available for specific design requirements.

Panel Composition:

1” (25mm) Medium Density Fiberglass 6-7 PCF + High Density Fiberglass Facer + Acoustical Veil + Clear Vapor Barrier (recommended for ceiling panels)

Nominal Thickness:

1-1/16” (27mm)

Edges:

Extruded aluminum metal along the sides with mitered cut joint for corners. The sides are painted to match panel face.

Vapor Barrier:

Clear Vapor Retarder installed on back of panel is recommended for ceiling panels to avoid any dust or debris. It is optional for wall panels.

Surface Color/ Finish:

Paint - Panels are coated in a smooth monolithic fine texture finish

Finishes:

  • Paint (panels are coated in a smooth monolithic finish)

    • Pure white for highest light reflectance

    • Custom color matching to any paint chip

  • Fabric (to most fabric)

    • Fabrication and acoustical properties consideration

    • Fabric selection from designer

Mounting:

  • Aptus

    Custom aluminum suspension grid system. A concealed torsion spring ceiling system that features a ±1/8” defined panel joint with 100% downward accessibility for easy access to plenum.

  • Direct Mount

    Panels are progressively installed using a mechanical Z Clip method. Not easily accessible to plenum and require progressive removal.

  • Direct Suspended

    Panels are progressively installed using a mechanical Z Clip and fastens to a suspended suspension system by others. Plenum is not easily accessible and panels require progressive removal.

  • Suspended Reveal

    Panel system is used to create the effect of a floating ceiling. T-bars (by others) slides into panel T Clips that are pre-mounted onto the back of the panels. Panels are suspended with hanging wires tied to the T-bar. A minimum of 6” (150mm) above the panel and 4” (100mm) reveal between panels are recommended. A 1” (25mm) reveal between panels are also possible. Plenum is not easily accessible and panels will need to be de-installed.

  • Suspended Access Reveal

    Typically used to create the effect of a floating ceiling. Holding clips slides into panel

    T Clips that are pre-mounted onto the back of the panels. The holding clips are used to engage onto a continuous carrying channel suspension system by others. Plenum is accessible with removal of the panel by lifting and shifting off of the carrying channel.

  • Span

    Typically used in corridors and hallways. A single panel will span an area of up to 10’

    (3050mm) and rest on a support by others. For span greater than 5’ (1525mm), T-bar

    (by others) are required by sliding into panel T Clips that are pre-mounted onto the back of the panels. Plenum is accessible by removal of panel by lifting off of the support.

Technical Data:

  • Metal panel edge with 1-1/16”, 1-9/16” and 2-1/16” panel thickness

  • Light reflectance of 90% for pure white finish

  • Acoustical absorption NRC 0.90

  • Class A Flame Spread- less than 25 and smoke developed less than 50 when tested in an assembly to ASME 84 Standard

AURA PANEL DETAILS.png

APTUS Suspension | General Information

FEATURES

  • Completely concealed torsion spring ceiling system.

  • Light weight grid system is made from extruded aluminum.

  • 100% downward panel accessibility through the use of torsion spring.

  • Torsion Spring ends have a tear drop feature for safe panel installation and removal.

  • Panels can be hung and swung open or completely removed for easy access to any services that may be above Aptus system (see Fig-C).

  • Intermediate grid fins provide a controlled ±1/8” defined ceiling panel joint line.

  • The suspension system is custom engineered and manufactured for each specific project.

  • All grids are pre-cut and labelled for easy identification and installation for field assembly.

  • Grids are conveniently pre-drilled with holes for hanging wire suspension.

  • Interconnecting brackets are fastened to grid to form a rigid system.

  • Integration of standard or custom light fixtures, air distribution, and communication systems are engineered as part of the grid system.

  • Custom curved panels, built-up or extruded aluminum returns are easily incorporated to the Aptus system.

Aptus Torsion Spring Suspension System – Typical 2’x2’ Grid

Aptus Torsion Spring Suspension System – Typical 2’x2’ Grid

FIG-A: Corner Grid Connection

FIG-A: Corner Grid Connection

FIG-B: Intermediate Grid Connection

FIG-B: Intermediate Grid Connection

Grid System Guidelines

  • Minimum space of 5” (127mm) clearance above is required for torsion spring clearance.

  • Any items located in the ceiling must be independently supported (ie. Lights, diffusers, sprinklers). The Aptus grid and panel are not structurally capable of supporting any weight.

  • Any items interacting with the panel will not be accessible (ie Lights, diffusers, sprinkler).

  • A minimum of ¾” (19mm) or greater reveal along the perimeter of our Aura panel is required for tolerance fit and for a floating ceiling look. The reveal can be closed off at the back or front of the panel with wall mould (continuous leveling angle).

  • Grid spacing exceeding 48” (1200mm) will require an intermittent grid and spring.

FIG-C: Aptus Torsion Spring Suspension System (Perspective View)

FIG-C: Aptus Torsion Spring Suspension System (Perspective View)

Perimeter Corner Detail

Perimeter Corner Detail

Perimeter Defined Joint Detail

Perimeter Defined Joint Detail

Installation:

The Aptus grid system are fastened with grid connection plates and suspended with hanging wires. The grid connection plates are also used to engage the torsion springs that are fastened to the Aura panels (**torsion springs must be clipped onto spring retaining clips which are fastened to the panel before panel installation). All grids are pre-cut to size and labelled for easy identification and installation. Pre-drilled holes are also provided on the grid for hanging wire suspension. Grid installation instruction drawings and all necessary hardware are included in delivered crate(s).

Panel Types:

Sky Acoustics Aptus suspension grid system is only available for Aura metal edged panel. The torsion spring are clipped onto the spring retaining clip that are fastened to the Aura panel. Aura panel comes in various shapes and sizes, including paint and fabric colours (see Aura Technical Data for panel guidelines).

Maintenance:

Contact Sky Acoustics for Aptus grid maintenance instructions.

Seismic Data:

Aptus ceiling grid system meets the requirements of seismic design category D, set forth by the prevailing codes of practice.


To learn more about the products and ceiling system detailed here, or for free samples & literature, contact Design Strategies today.