Acoustic Barrier Posts: Steel vs Timber

Noise barriers (also known as acoustic barrier) work to efficiently reduce unwanted noise from roadways, railway lines, or industrial applications.

This solution is particularly high in demand in residential areas near transportation infrastructure or manufacturing, where excessive noise would be disruptive to the end-user.

With business and industry under increasing pressure to better integrate with and take account of its surrounding communities, noise barriers serve as a valuable tool for improving reputation while allowing for longer or unsociable operating hours. Once you have chosen a system that meets your requirements, depending on the system you may need the posts to support it. These acoustic barrier posts can come in both timber and steel and with this, there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

If you’re an architect, main contractor or fencing contractor and you’re thinking about adopting an acoustic noise barrier, this article delves into the overview of timber vs steel acoustic barriers posts, so you’ll understand which solution will work best for you.


Longevity Of Timber And Steel Noise Barrier Posts

When it comes to minimising unwanted noise, steel noise barrier posts can work well because they’re long-lasting and have much more longevity in comparison to timber posts.

Steel is a harder material. If you would like your system to withstand the test of time then steel posts are certainly the better choice.

Steel acoustic barrier posts are usually hot-dip galvanized – a process that involves dipping the mild steel in molten zinc. This creates a circa 70-micron coating of zinc (increasing as the section of the post increases) protecting the posts from corrosion. The standard erosion rate in the UK is 1-2 microns per year!

In comparison, well-treated timber should last around 15 years

This means that you don’t need to replace steel posts as often, benefiting you and the reputation of the business you manage.




CE Marked Posts

With Barkers Fencing, steel posts can be CE marked if required which ensures that the goods conform with European standards and showcases a safe and reliable solution to reducing sound. With CE marking you have to provide structural calculations so you’ll get the benefit on the CE marked seal of approval.

All noise barriers that are installed on highways need to be CE marked.


Finishing Options For Steel and Timber Acoustic Barriers

With steel acoustic barrier posts, there is a greater range of finishing options. With steel, you can choose to get your post galvanised only or add a powder-coated finish with different colours to match, whilst timber posts are treated.

At Barkers Fencing we can supply noise barrier posts in all finishes, from self-colour, galvanised only, standard PPC and with bespoke finish options such as G2a from series 1900 highways specification.

By having the means to powder coat your steel posts, you have the freedom to fit into the theme of your setting, whereas whilst timber posts can be painted, this doesn’t tend to be a long-standing finish of choice.


acoustic barrier posts


Acoustic Noise Barrier Options

Acoustic barrier posts are manufactured to the requirements of the chosen system and the site.

Steel noise barrier posts work with both timber and composite panels including both reflective and absorptive systems. The posts are manufactured to suit the system.

Timber posts are typically used with timber panels, timber posts are much harder to adapt and steel posts will work well if you’re having to adapt the posts. With steel posts, you can design them to have welded lugs in various places to enable bolting through the reflective panels, and also stopper plates at the bottom of the posts to avoid the panels from sitting directly on the floor – thus adding life to the panels themselves.



Acoustic fencing is used to help noisy facilities better integrate with the surrounding communities. Therefore, the look of the acoustic fence may also be a key consideration, especially if it’s next to a residential area. Timber posts are often thought to look softer, so may be used near residential areas. Whereas steel posts are more commonly used in commercial areas or highways.



Due to the structure, steel posts are required for fences taller than 2.4metres. Above this height, they will take a considerable amount of force and wind loading.



When it comes to keeping down noise from manufacturing facilities or transportation infrastructure, steel posts can provide you with a long-lasting solution that has a range of options and finishes.

At Barkers Fencing, our highly controlled and skilled production processes mean that Barker’s noise barrier posts can be CE marked if required. Our manufacturing process coupled with our in-house finishing departments ensures that our posts are manufactured with vastly reduced impacts on the environment.

A wide range of steel sections and fitment options are also available to suit heights of up to 6m.

If you want to find out more, speak to an expert today