All cars have sound insulation but the quality of the vehicle sound insulation material makes the difference between total and partial silence. The vehicle sound insulation material that manufacturers install during production contributes to the total price.
In fact, if you install aftermarket vehicle sound insulation material, it improves the car’s resale value. Further, the silence boosts the sound quality from your car’s sound system.
Some car sound deadening materials also provide heat insulation. We call them sound absorbing materials. This can be an advantage when the car AC is not blowing cold air.
Vehicle sound proofing generally improves the quality of your journey. Especially, when you install interior car accessories alongside the sound deadening materials.
An important factor to remember during insulation is that the thicker the material, the more it is effective. The level of the material’s thickness is something that we are going to discuss below.
Installation of the sound deadening material goes on specific areas of the vehicle. For example, under the engine hood or the wheel well. This prevents the entrance of noise from these areas to the vehicle’s cabin.
How can I improve the sound proofing of my car?
Cars are generally very noisy. This is because of the noise from the engine, air that flows against the vehicle’s motion and gravel that hits against the car’s body.
Manufacturers install sound proofing materials before the car rolls off the manufacturing assembly floor. This is in order to counteract the volume of noise that reaches the vehicle’s occupants.
However the original equipment manufacturer [OEM] sound deadening material isn’t very effective. Therefore, you can opt to improve the sound proofing of your car by purchasing aftermarket vehicle sound insulation materials.
There are different types of vehicle insulation materials that serve unique purposes. This is how these materials work;
- Sound deadening.
- Absorbing sounds.
- Sound blocking.
1. Sound deadening material.
Sound deadening is also known as soundproofing or insulation. It involves installing materials that eliminate noise by preventing the transfer of noise from a specific source.
It works to create a quiet environment within the vehicle cabin. Sound deadening material is installed around the strategic areas to prevent noise from entering the vehicle’s cabin.
The installation of sound deadening material takes place around these areas;
- Engine bay.
- Door panels.
- Vehicle floor.
Types of sound deadening materials.
There are different types of sound deadening materials whose difference is seen in their method of installation, quality of outcome and price. Keep in mind that undertaking this process of soundproofing could require a full-on make over of your vehicle’s interior.
a]. Butyl rubber.
Since this is a rubber material, you may have concerns about odors and heat resistance. The butyl rubber is an odorless, synthetic rubber that is suitable for soundproofing different areas around the vehicle.
Its synthetic properties ensure that heat doesn’t interfere with the its form. Therefore, it can maintain proper soundproofing even during extreme temperatures.
However, the properties of butyl rubber can be improved by increasing the material’s elastomeric properties. This makes it much more effective at its purpose.
b]. Viscoelastic acrylic polymer.
This is a sound deadening material that has a liquid like appearance. Basically, it’s a sound proofing spray. Therefore, it is highly effective at reducing vibrations.
Further, the Viscoelastic acrylic polymer is a very effective shock absorber and it can help to prevent damage caused by intense vibrations. It is a product from an American manufacturer called second skin.
2. Sound blocking materials.
You will usually experience different types of noises from your vehicle. For example, structural noise and airborne noise. These are discussed below.
However, there noise that comes from the contact between the road and the tires. This is usually a roaring sound. In order to completely eliminate this noise, you need a sound blocking material that creates a barrier between you and the source of noise.
Start by the application of a sound deadening material. This won’t eliminate the noise completely, however, it will minimize the amount of noise that reaches your ears.
Afterwards, couple the sound deadening material with a sound blocking material. This will create a complete barrier between you and the source or noise.
What is the best thickness characteristics for sound blocking material?
Sound blocking material should have some unique properties that make it effective at creating a barrier that’s impenetrable by sound. Further, it should be able to fit into every curve and corner of the vehicle.
Therefore, these are the unique characteristics that each one of them should have;
a]. Extremely dense.
Sound blocking material should be dense enough to completely seal the space and to prevent noise from entering or escaping. This is made possible when you couple it with a sound deadening material.
The spaces in which the sound blocking material is going to fit into will have some curves and corners. For the sound blocking to be done effectively, no space should be left without being sealed. Therefore, extreme flexibility of the sound blocking material will be necessary so that it can fit into all the curves and corners of the vehicle.
Types of sound blocking materials.
The thing about sound blocking is that you will need more than one material in order to achieve desirable results. Since there is no single sound blocking material that’s made to achieve the results on its own. Therefore, our list will not contain all the available materials.
a.] Mass loaded vinyl.
This is on top of our list because it meets the thickness and flexibility characteristics. Its installation blocks out a significant amount of noise that can satisfy your soundproofing desires. It contains barium sulfate which makes it effective at filling up the curves and corners of your vehicle.
3. Sound absorbing materials.
Sound absorbing is often times used interchangeably with sound blocking. However, they have different meanings.
Whereby, sound blocking means completely sealing a space such that no sound can enter and neither can noise leave the space. Alternatively, sound absorbing means the installation of material that takes the sound and minimizes its volume. Therefore, some sound usually reaches the other side.
The good thing about sound absorbing materials is that they double as heat insulation materials. This is because of their properties.
Best heat and sound insulation for cars.
The sound absorbing materials also double in heat insulation as well as decoupling. Effective ones are either fiber or foam based.
a]. Foam based heat insulation and sound absorbing materials.
The foam based materials vary in relation to their effectiveness in insulation, areas of installation, weight, liquid resistance and texture. They have different pros and cons.
i]. Open cell foam sound absorbing materials.
The open cell foam contains open air pockets within its structure. These air pockets allow the penetration of liquid when the material is exposed.
Therefore, this type of foam based material will tend to become heavier when it absorbs liquids. Otherwise, when in its natural state it is less dense [Lightweight] and really soft.
ii]. Closed cell foam materials.
As the name suggests, these foam materials do not have air pockets within their structure. Therefore, they’re completely sealed and do not absorb any liquids.
Further, they are more heavier and slightly harder. Closed cell foam is great for sound absorption around areas that have constantly flapping panels.
b]. Fiber based insulation and absorption materials.
The fiber materials used in the creation of these insulation and absorption materials is either synthetic or natural fiber. These products take up the form of matts that are suitable for installation in different areas of the vehicle. For example, the car’s door. Fiber based materials are also very effective heat insulators.
How much sound proofing do I need for car?
Noise comes from different parts of the vehicle. These are the areas that will determine how much soundproofing material you need. There are different types of noises that cars make.
Types of noises needing sound proofing.
Vehicle manufacturers are well aware that these noises exist as soon as the vehicle rolls off the manufacturing floor to the road. Therefore, they cater for this noise by installing a few sound proofing materials.
However, in order to regulate the vehicle’s selling price, the manufacturer doesn’t use a lot of materials. Therefore, some noises can still be heard within the cabin.
a]. Structural noises.
These noises result from the movement of the parts that make up your vehicle. Structural noises can come from within your vehicle assembly parts. For example, the engine, loose panels amongst others.
b]. Airborne noises.
These are the noises that penetrate the cabin from the opposing motion of the moving vehicle against wind current. An open car window makes such noise more audible.
How much soundproofing you need for your car.
Here we are going to create a list of the areas in which you need to install soundproofing materials. However, before you install any sound deadening materials there are a number of things you need to consider first.
The following list shows you how much sound deadening you need based on the areas you’re going to cover.
- Inner panels of the car doors.
- Wheel arch liners.
- The car floor.
- Kick panels around the driver and passenger’s feet.
- Car’s roof.
- All the pillars, rear pillars, windshield pillars and center pillars.
- The trunk area.
- Wheel wells.
- Wall separating the cabin from the engine.
- Engine bay
What to look for in materials that are used to soundproof cars.
The following are some of the soundproofing material characteristics that you will need to consider. Otherwise, you’re at the risk of obtaining materials that aren’t suitable towards your goal.
a]. Material effectiveness.
This will depend on a number of factors like the nature of the material. For example, fiber based or foam based materials. Effectiveness also refers to the method of the material installation. Some are just easier to install than others.
b]. Thickness of the material.
The material’s thickness determines how effective it is at soundproofing your vehicle. In fact, when referring to sound absorbing materials that also act as heat insulation materials, this is an important factor to consider.
When working with spray soundproofing products, you can determine the thickness that is most appropriate for you. However, other materials are already made with a predetermined thickness.
c]. Base material.
The base material refers to the nature of the insulation materials. For example, there’re liquid sprays and solid mats. Further, the base material also determines , the , , and temperature resistance.
- The effectiveness of the material’s insulation properties.
- Ease of use during the installation process.
- Odor levels after installation and during use.
- Liquid resistance properties.
- Lifespan of the insulation materials.
- Temperature resistance therefore affecting heat insulation.
What reduces engine noise?
If the engine is making a lot of noise, please investigate to ensure that something is not wrong. However, here we are about to discuss how to reduce the noise that reaches your cabin from the engine during normal operation. Further, our list will mention a few engine modifications that will change how it sounds.
a]. Engine bay insulation.
This involves installing insulation material around the engine bay. For example, acoustic foam for sound absorption. The sound insulation material bars the noise that’s coming from the engine against reaching the cabin.
Further, the sound absorption material also offers the advantage of temperature insulation. Therefore, your engine is protected from extreme temperatures which impact the car battery and normal engine operations.
b]. Upgrading the exhaust system.
There are some aftermarket exhaust system parts that change the sound that the engine produces. For example, aftermarket mufflers and resonators. They work through the manipulation of exhaust gas flow.
c]. Engine mounts.
The engine mounts hold the engine in place. Loose engine mounts are one of the reason why the car shakes. Therefore, ensuring that you have high quality engine mounts installations will cause a reduction in engine noise.
d]. Air intake system upgrade.
The air intake system of the engine is the engine’s breathing system and it makes a substantial amount of noise during the intake process. However, an upgrade that makes the air intake process easier alongside sound absorption material installations can help to reduce the amount of noise that comes from the engine.
e]. Timing belt/chain upgrades.
A substantial amount of noise that comes from the engine comes from the car engine’s timing belt or chain. However, there are aftermarket designs that will change the level of noise that the OEM belts produce.