Sound protection measures for RF rooms

The development of new medical technologies has prolonged more and more people's lives making life worthwhile even when coping with serious diseases. The continuous enhancement of MRI-Systems, which are becoming increasingly powerful, significantly contributes to that progress. However, an increased noise of the MRI-Systems is partially attributed to this development and consequently, sound protection to the medical staff and patients has become an issue of major relevance.

In the past noise was considered more of a general characteristic, but, as it has increased more specific management of the two key sound components, structure-borne sound and airborne noise, must be addressed. Initial on-site measurements, carried out by an Acoustic expert, can determine the measures necessary to comply with national and/or MRI system specific requirements.

structure-borne sound

Depending upon the building conditions and configuration, not only the installation area of the MRI-System but adjacent rooms must be included in the evaluation too. For Germany, there are specific guidelines such as:


  • DIN 4109: 1988-11, sound insulation in buildings
  • TA noise, technical guidance for protection against noise, 1998-08 Edition
  • EN ISO 11690-1: 1996-11, guideline for the design of low-noise of Work, Part 1: General principles
  • Regulation on workplaces (workplace regulations – ArbStättV) of 19th of July 2010

During the scan, the MRI-System generates shock waves that are transmitted through to the host building, creating the audible component of the structure-borne sound; to minimize this, the MRI Scanner must be mechanically isolated from the host building. Albatross Projects will design and install a suitable installation method to comply with the National and/or customer’s acceptable noise levels specifications.

airborne sound

The airborne noise is that part of the shock waves caused by the MRI-System emitted to the environment through the air. The RF room and the air gap between the RF room and the existing building provide some damping of the airborne noise. However, this is often not sufficient, thus the RF room needs to have an additional sound protection packages, for example:


  • Replacing the usual RF room window with an observation window specifically designed for use in sound reduction. (We recommended this as the standard window solution);
  • the air space between RF room and existing building walls shall be protected with sound insulation materials;
  • the airspace between the RF room and the interior lining shall be protected with sound insulation materials.
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