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Sound padding material: what properties to look for?

post #1 of 12
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So I'm thinking of building a padded cell for my hard drives and padding some of the alumin(i)um panels of the case with some sort of foam/sponge. Since I'm not going to import stuff like AcoustiPack I thought I'd hit the local rubber supply shops who offer closed/open cell forms of foam and sponge, but I'm curious as to what material properties to look for that work best as sound and vibration reducers/barriers/absorbers.

Any tips?
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post #2 of 12
With accostic absorption material you want dense (as in "heavy for it's size") material with large surface area. You'll probably want something like a porous open cell rubber foam. Make sure it's thin enough not to interfere with airflow.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Open cell? Wouldn't closed cell structure be more of a barrier? Or is it a matter of the open cell dispersing the air in its structure while the closed cell bounces it off in all directions of its rough surface?

Checked with the local supplier I previously used for some filter foam. They have 2 kinds. One is 30kg/m^3 closed cell foam, the other is a multi-layer consisting of a woven fibreglass backing (for glueing surface), a 25mm layer of closed cell 30kg/m^3 foam, a 2.8mm layer of dense PVC foam, and then another 5mm layer of closed cell again. Think possibly similar to that AcoustiPak stuff I've seen and also same as some of the sound deadener used in vehicles.

Both of them are closed cell.

Now curious/confused as to whether closed cell is better than open cell structure.
Edited by sinnerg - 3/30/12 at 5:28am
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post #4 of 12
The open cell is better as you want to stop the sound not contain it. Think of the foam as "trapping" the sound as opposed to being a barrier. In regards to my density comment, I should clarify that the foam will be low density because it is open cell, but the material that the foam is made out of should be higher density, like rubber.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Also just noticed in their open cell listing they offer another Polyurethane foam (Polyester) product which can be used for acoustic damping. It's up to 60kg/m^3.

I'll have to swing by and see what they're like and what this stuff costs in bulk.
Edited by sinnerg - 3/30/12 at 5:28am
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droviin View Post

The open cell is better as you want to stop the sound not contain it. Think of the foam as "trapping" the sound as opposed to being a barrier. In regards to my density comment, I should clarify that the foam will be low density because it is open cell, but the material that the foam is made out of should be higher density, like rubber.

I understand now. I'll try and get some of this open cell polyester stuff they have.

I'll get that other stuff for my noisy tin can car.
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post #7 of 12
Dynamat?
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post #8 of 12
combination open/closed cell can often be found. Of the stuff you mentioned, try to go with multilayered material that has a thin layer of more dense material, usually dense pvc/rubber-like material. I use Sonic Barrier for places where the thickness isn't an issue, though it usually is. Actually I have a rectangle of it that I just lay on the top of the case (my top panel is pure mesh), and remove it situationally.

With thin dampening material mostly what you'll accomplish is reducing panel vibration and maybe cut down on some parasitic noises emitted from internal components. Best of luck and let us know how it goes. =)
    
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
@Zap: Dynamat ... you mean the butile rubber or bitumen based panel vibration dampening material? That'll kill vibration and noise the panel makes. Only need a tiny bit of it on a panel. I don't know why these car guys cover their entire cars in the stuff.

@Otterclock: that's the material they have at my local supplier, along with the open cell polyester type foam. It looks like the thickness is going to be around 35mm for the multi-layer stuff. I'll see if they have something "less complicated". smile.gif I'm definitely going to get the open cell stuff to try as well. I'll give them a call on Monday and see what they're charging for this stuff.
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post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinnerg View Post

@Zap: Dynamat ... you mean the butile rubber or bitumen based panel vibration dampening material? That'll kill vibration and noise the panel makes. Only need a tiny bit of it on a panel. I don't know why these car guys cover their entire cars in the stuff.

they cover the whole car with it essentially to add mass to the panel/car. it takes alot more energy to vibrate 100 pounds of mass vs 80 pounds of mass. the more mass they add, the less the car/panel vibrates thereby reducing noise.
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