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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 424 (402)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 424
Page 424

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 424

special color schemes have been utilized to aid those who still have some vestige of sight left.

Red, the most powerful color of the spectrum, suggests blood, fire, and danger, and actually induces muscular tension and stimulates certain actions. Some religions regard red as sacred and even psychologists have interesting interpretations about people who are partial to this color.

Blue, suggesting coolness, decreases muscular tension. Without exaggeration, blue induces lower blood pressure, respiration rate, and pulse rate.

Green is the most accepted of all the colors, suggesting the peaceful out-ofdoors, cool and relaxing. It is used to a great extent in hospitals with the chroma and value carefully chosen (this is called chroma-therapy, or color healing).

Yellow is a gay and bright color suggesting the power of the sun. It is the strongest in luminosity, and is a powerful stimulant to the eye and the nerves.

Functionalism and Insulation

Progressive architects recognize the strategic use of paint to minimize or camouflage awkward architectural features in buildings; to make rooms seem longer, shorter, or more symmetrical by different colors on the walls; to minimize the undesirable exterior effect of too many windows of different sizes, too many dormers, or', in the case of some of the older structures, over-done trim and ornamentation.

An outstanding example of functional painting of buildings is the painting of brick walls White for greater coolness in summer. Experiments have conclusively demonstrated that the surface of a brick wall painted white is 14 degrees cooler than the surface of an unpainted brick wall. It might be assumed that a white wall would be correspondingly colder in winter, but such is not the case. The reason is that the cooling effect occurs when the wall is in direct sunlight and is relatively negligible on cloudy days and in darkness. In winter cloudiness is generally prevalent, and the periods of sunlight are much shorter than in summer. Moreover, moisture, which is a rapid conductor of heat and cold, is sealed out of the wall by the paint, with the result that, in winter, the paint acts to a degree as an insulator. So, no one need fear that painting a brick building to keep it cooler in summer will also cause it to be colder in winter.

Paint and Acoustics

Materials especially designed to aid acoustic conditions are so varied in character that they present interesting problems to those members of the paint, varnish, and lacquer industry who specialize in the formulation of production and maintenance finishes to meet specific needs.

Some materials are porous and tend to absorb sound, while others are relatively dense and may be responsible for echoes. For some acoustical conditions, a special soft and rather porous specialized finish may be required, while for other conditions considered in relation to the kinds of materials used in construction, a harder coating may be indicated. Some modern acoustical materials are made with a pattern of holes in them, and, according to the manufac

turers directions, may be painted or varnished without appreciably affecting their acoustic properties.

The relation of paint to acoustics was recognized as long ago as 1922 by specialists in research in the paint, varnish, and lacquer industry, and has involved some interesting experiments. Special finishes may have an important part to play in the absorption or transmission of sound waves. A study of this subject is of importance to the decorator having in view the improvement of the acoustics of an auditorium, or even in the decoration of the rooms in theatres, schools, offices, or factories, where certain types of finishes may prove of value in many cases.

The texture of any material will largely determine the degree to which defective acoustics develop in auditoriums. Sometimes the general tone of a room is such that it is desirable to increase the reverberation. In such cases, a smooth, unbroken, high plastered wall and plastered ceilings, somewhat square and of lofty proportions, tend to give the desired effect. Hard gypsum plaster, for instance, might be advisable in such cases, although it is not as satisfactory as the softer and more porous hydrated lime plaster for places where sound absorption is desired.

A hard surface reflects and transmits sound at each impact. A panel or a painted surface containing a sufficient number of fine pores may produce a different action. The sound passing through these pores is converted into heat and thus absorbed.

If a room is dead, add metal fixtures just enough to tune up the sound. Hardness of surface aids in making rooms noisy, and this is always likely to occur where smooth, hard wall and ceiling linings are employed, as is the case of what is known as the whispering gallery of Saint Paulls. If the walls and ceilings of this gallery were given several coats of paint, it would probably lose its place in the Old World as a mecca for Cookis tourists.

When echo results from too high a ceiling, little may be done except to separate the ceiling from the floor (which is often undesirable). When echo results from the wall, to cure such echo, two methods may be considered. One method consists in changing the form of the walls so that the reflected sound no longer sets up the echo; that is, change the angle of the wall so that the strong reflecting wave is broken up and the sound scattered. In this connection, it is of interest to point out that curved walls focus sound, the waves being directed to one point. This method, however, is drastic, as a change in the walls might be too violent to the architectural design.

The second method is to make the reflecting wall a good absorber, so that the sound is swallowed up and little or none reflected. Painting the wall may accomplish this. It also fits in with architectural features. It is less expensive than the other methods and can be easily done. The paint, however, to have the greatest sound absorbing factor should have the qualities of porosity and flexibility. This mean porosity of the mass and flexibility as a whole. Consequently thickness is a very important requisite. High plasticity is desirable for certain finishes. Several successive

coats of paint may be applied, or one heavy coat with special sand, cork, or sponge treatment.

In order to get at least an approximation of the sound absorbing properties of paint, a series of tests was made, using a specially constructed cylinder 3 feet long and 1 foot in diameter, placed horizontally in a wooden base. In the center of the cylinder a watch was suspended. The observer then stood with one ear at the open end of the cylinder, and slowly moved away. The point at which he could no longer hear the tick of the watch was marked. The cylinder was then lined with coatings. The results are given below, as the average of several readings by four observers.

Metal wall ............................... .. 40 inches

Metal wall with sand

finish paint .. ........... .. 19 inches Metal wall, wit sponge finish paint ........................... .. 18 inches Metal wall, with cork finish paint -.. 14 inches

It will be noted rom the above results that all of the finishes reduced the carrying properties of the sound over 50 percent. The amount of sound absorbed will, of course, depend on the thickness of the paint, the roughness of the surface, porosity, and similar data.

A relatively new development in the field of special finishes flock finishes which have the appearance of suede or soft fabric, are sometimes used on hard, non-porous surfaces to assist in the absorption of sound and to abate echoes. The flock consists of very short fibers, which may be of wool, cotton, rayon, or other material used in making cloths. A specially formulated clear varnish, lacquer, or enamel constitutes the first coating of an adhesive which may be applied by spray painting, silk screening, roller coating, or brushing. The flock may be either sprayed on the tacky surface by special spraying implements or it may be applied by hand. When the coating has dried after application of the flock, excess flock can be wiped or brushed off and salvaged for re-use.

Authorities on acoustical paints emphasize that paints for acoustical surfaces must not reduce the porosity of the surface and must have high hiding power and a certain degree of porosity. The type of paint required varies according to whether the acoustical surface contains small pores or holes of microscopic size.

Acoustic finishes present some nice problems to specialists in finishes.

Cement Water Paints

Cement water paints are important members of the paint family. Usually, their base is Portland centent, scientifically combined with other materials to meet varying conditions, and available in various colors, for use on exterior and interior Portland cement, concrete, and stucco surfaces, excepting floors and other areas subject to mechanical abrasion. They are especially recommended where it is desired to decorate and reduce the water permeability of exterior walls built of concrete block masonry or where the concrete or stucco is damp at the time of painting or may become damp subsequently.

The typical film possesses good decorative qualities as to hiding power and color. When wetted, as by rain, it be THEATRE CATALOG 1950-51
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 424