Egg Crate Foam Soundproofing? ( Is it Effective)

This blog post will answer the question, “what is an egg crate foam?”, What are the key principles of soundproofing, what are its applications , pros & cons and finally is it recommended to be used for soundproofing?

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What is an Egg Crate Foam

It is a type of foam where one of the sides is shaped like an egg crate. The key principle to how it works is that it uses the decoupling phenomenon to absorb soundwaves and reduce reverberation.

Also, it provides a large surface area as compared to conventional flat panel foam resulting in better sound absorption.

Acoustic Egg crate foam is usually manufactured using acoustic grade polyurethane foam, however it can also be made from recycled paper and moulded pulp by means of mechanised paper mache process or from clear plastic. 

It alleviates the sound pressure buildup in a room owing to its shape. Thereby improving vocal clarity.

Applications of Egg Crate Foam?

Below are some of the applications of egg crate foam: 

Mattress toppers to augment comfort of bed mattresses as it makes it possible for the foam to conform to the contours of a person’s body.

Sound treatment using echo reduction method and decoupling phenomenon which is ideal for sound absorption and therefore soundproofing spaces such as:

  • Recording studios
  • Home Theatres
  • Broadcasting Studios
  • Apartments

For packaging material to restrict movement during transport of fragile substances by also acting as a soft cushion so that packaging arrives to its destination intact

Sound Absorption Vs. Sound Blocking, which to consider?

Now, contrary to conventional usage of Sound Blocking Vs. Sound absorption which are often incorrectly used interchangeably, lets study below what they actually mean:

Sound Absorption happens when vibrations from a sound source are absorbed by acoustical absorbing surfaces or elements which reduce reverberation, echoing & amplification.

Materials used for this function are typically porous and plentiful air gaps to enhance effectiveness.

Sound Blocking or Sound Isolation seeks to contain the sounds emanation from a source within the boundaries of a predefined area.

Materials used for this function are typically dense, thick and heavy with as little porosity as possible.

Key principles of SoundProofing

The prevention of sound waves passing in or out of a room resulting in acoustic isolation of the designated space is known as soundproofing.

These are fundamental aspects of Sound Proofing:

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Deflection

Deflection of sound waves is achieved by adding dense non porous materials to any structure. This kind of material is very effective at deviating or deflecting noise made through airborne transmission. 

The additional bulk helps to dissipate soundwaves by creating a longer path and therefore higher energy requirement to diffuse into any given space.

However, blocking impact borne transmission is not as effective. It is a higher power, pressure and vibration class than airborne vibration.

Absorption 

Absorption is the phenomena by which sound pressure waves are distributed across a surface with interstitial airspace that prevents transmission through vibration of solid molecules.

Thereby soaking up acoustic energy. Materials such as this  are usually installed in open cavities where the depth of material can be tolerated.

In addition, this kind of material can also prevent additional resonance, reverberation and amplification of sound waves that could be created had the cavity been left empty.

There are 2 types of Absorbers:

Porous absorbers:

Porous open cell foams are highly effective noise absorbers across a broad range of medium-high frequencies. Performance can be less impressive at lower frequencies. The absorption profile is dependent on a number of factors such as:

  • Cell Size
  • Tortuosity
  • Porosity
  • Material Density 
  • Material Thickness

Resonant Absorbers:

Resonant absorbers also called Helmholtz Absorbers work by damping a sound wave while reflecting it. The absorption of a resonant soundwave works only over a low-medium frequency range

Reflection

The comparative distribution of sound pressure variations throughout a given space, or the process by which a soundwave is distributed in the space. If sound pressure is uniformly distributed throughout the space, the sound is said to be well diffused

Diffusion

If a specular reflection from a hard flat surface is giving a problematic echo then an acoustic diffuser may be applied to the surface. It will scatter sound in all directions. This is effective to eliminate pockets of noise in a room.e applied to the surface. It will scatter sound in all directions. This is effective to eliminate pockets of noise in a room.

For more information please visit the following links:

https://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/Lesson-3/Reflection,-Refraction,-and-Diffraction
https://www.acousticalsurfaces.com/blog/acoustics-education/what-is-sound-diffusion-and-absorption/

Decoupling

Decoupling is a method to reduce the area of direct mechanical linkage between structure and substrate. Such as walls and the applied finishing materials.

This process interrupts flanking transmissions that tend to travel through a structures’ own rigidity and connectivity from start to end.

Damping

It is the process of reducing resonance in an enclosed structure by absorption, reflection or diffusion. Absorption will reduce the overall sound level of the structure and redirection reduce the coherence thereby making the unwanted sound harmless.

Distance

The further away an object or a space is from a sound attenuating source the more isolation or blocking it will have from incident sound waves. 

This is because soundwaves lose energy while travelling through any media and therefore dampens by diffusion, reflection & absorption over a finite distance.

Mass

Adding dense material for soundproofing can help reduce transmission by increasing the material molecules present. 

Soundwaves will have to expend more energy through dense substances thereby reducing its impact on the space which requires sound proofing. 

Pros & Cons:

Below are some of the benefits of egg crate foam

  • Easy to install
  • Widely available and in variety for different purposes
  • Very cost effective 
  • Recommended for beginner
  • Better at absorbing sound with higher frequencies

However, there are some associated disadvantages of egg crate foam such as

  • Not suitable to be installed in large spaces
  • It is not very good at absorbing noise unless used with other methods of soundproofing
  • Needs to cover entirety of the area being soundproofed without any interstitial spacing
  • Not very thick nor very dense so it cannot block sounds effectively
  • May or may not be fire resistant

Like most answers, it all depends i.e it is upto the user how much they want to invest in soundproofing a space.

Egg crate foams provide good sound absorption but only for higher frequencies as opposed to the much more expensive acoustic foam panels that provide sound absorption over low, mid & high frequencies. 

Conclusion

This blog addresses what is an egg crate foam, what an individual needs to know about soundproofing, the applications of egg crate foam, its pros & cons and finally is it recommended to be used for soundproofing

Finally, the main ways that an individual can reduce sound infiltration & leakage. It is pertinent to mention before installing additional measures for sound proofing, one must first investigate what source the sound is coming from to effectively prevent infiltration.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.

Frequently Asked Questions: Egg Crate Foam Soundproofing

What are alternatives to using an egg crate foam for soundproofing    

These are some of the alternatives to using an egg crate foam for soundproofing:

  • Soundproof Curtains
  • Soundproof Blankets
  • Acoustical Foam
  • Door Sweep
  • Hanging Baffles   

What Is Egg Crate Foam Used For?

They are used as:

Mattress toppers to augment comfort of bed mattresses as it makes it possible for the foam to conform to the contours of a person’s body.

Sound treatment using echo reduction method and decoupling phenomenon which is ideal for sound absorption and therefore soundproofing spaces such as:

  • Recording studios
  • Home Theatres
  • Broadcasting Studios
  • Apartments

For packaging material to restrict movement during transport of fragile substances by also acting as a soft cushion so that packaging arrives to its destination intact

Is Egg Crate Foam Safe?

This depends on the quality of the egg crate foam. Because the low-quality egg crate may be dangerous as a source of toxic chemicals that will harm you.

But on the other hand, the high quality isn’t 100% safe and works better if you use your mattress and soundproofing material.

What is the difference between mattress egg crate foam and acoustic egg crate foam?

Don’t confuse acoustical foam with mattress pad foam, which may also have the egg-shaped domes. Acoustical foam, 1 1/2-inches thick with an NRC rating of .45, distances itself from 2-inch-thick polyester mattress pad foam, which rates only about .6 on the NRC scale

What situations require soundproofing?

The basic reason to soundproof a room or a space is to prevent your current activity from getting disturbed.

This could be in situations such as:

In a bedroom to snooze in absolute silence. A good night’s sleep can keep a person more focused and active for the day and revitalise the senses.

At a recording studio where ambient sounds are detrimental to the recording process which could require multiple retakes and order expensive post processing to filter out such noises

In meetings or during a conference where sound bleeding cannot just be a disturbance but a leakage of confidential or privileged information not suitable for any other audience. Also, it can prevent clear passage of sound and cause incorrect information to be registered by the audience.

Personal office spaces and study rooms greatly benefit from sound isolation as much like good night’s sleep it can help to improve and sustain focus on the task at hand and prevent distractions.

References:

Aksa Acoustic. (2016, December 20). Acoustic Egg Foam. Retrieved from Aksa Acoustic: https://www.acousticsoundinsulation.com/egg-acoustic-foam/

Egg Crate Foam. (2019, June 29). Retrieved from Technical Foam Services: https://www.technicalfoamservices.co.uk/product/egg-crate-foam/

Foam Online Team. (2018, April 12). Egg Crate Foam. Retrieved from Foam Online: https://foamonline.com/egg-crate/#:~:text=Egg%20crate%20foam%20is%20available,packaging%20foam%20for%20fragile%20equipment.

Shaddy, W. (2017, July 17). Soundproofing With Egg Crates. Retrieved from Home Steady: https://homesteady.com/13402675/soundproofing-with-egg-crates

Slumber Search. (2018, January 20). What is Egg Crate Foam? Retrieved from Slumber Search: https://www.slumbersearch.com/what-is-egg-crate-foam

Tatum, M. (2020, June 18). What is Egg Crate Foam? Retrieved from Wise Geek: https://www.wise-geek.com/what-is-egg-crate-foam.htm

Vyas, K. (2021, March 13). Is Egg Crate Foam Good For Soundproofing: Does It Really Work? Retrieved from Soundproofidea: https://www.soundproofidea.com/is-egg-crate-foam-good-for-soundproofing.html

Asking Lot Team (2020, March 9). What is egg crate foam made of? Retrieved from AskingLot: https://askinglot.com/what-is-egg-crate-foam-made-of

Winstead, S. (2021, May 25). The Interesting Soundproofing Debate: Egg Crate Foam Vs Pyramid Foam. Retrieved from My learning World: https://myelearningworld.com/egg-crate-vs-pyramid-foam/

Zouch. (2020, October 25). Protective Egg Crate and Convoluted Polyurethane Foam Packaging Inserts. Retrieved from Zouch: https://www.zouchconverters.co.uk/news/2021/protective-egg-crate-and-convoluted-polyurethane-foam-packaging-inserts