Lightweight soundproof materials

                                             

This blog post will describe, “Lightweight soundproof materials” and cover different types of lightweight soundproof materials, and what are the benefits of lightweight soundproof materials.

What are the best lightweight soundproofing materials?

There are a variety of lightweight soundproofing materials on the market that can assist reduce noise without adding a significant amount of weight to your structure.

  • Acoustic Louvres
  • Acoustic Absorber Panels (External)
  • Acoustic Isolation Membrane
  • Closed Cell Neoprene
  • Fibreglass 
  • Plywood
  • Mass loaded vinyl
  • Cotton batt insulation
  • Blown insulation
  • Mineral wool

Acoustic Louvres

There are acoustic louvres that allow air to circulate into the region while reducing unwanted environmental noise. It looks like a regular shutter on a structure, but the blades and slats are slanted or curved to disrupt or deflect sound vibrations. These can be found in a lot of office buildings in cities.

Applications

The ability to have a full louvre complex in a place is sometimes limited by size and design. A smaller programme can be installed in this situation to achieve the same impact on a much smaller scale. A screen is equally as effective at dissipating heat and suppressing noise as a whole compound is.

The following are some of the advantages of using a small louvre:

  • Noise reduction is important.
  • Design for optimal ventilation.
  • Small screens may be created to fit any size room or plant deck.
  • They can be made in any size.
Materials
acoustic louvres

Acoustic Absorber Panels (External)

Another professional option is to use acoustic absorber panels to provide an appealing finish with outstanding sound-absorbing characteristics. 

These are frequently utilised to prevent sound from rebounding and radiating from a structure into the surrounding environment. They’re light, and they’re frequently created from recycled glass beads. They have a pleasing appearance, similar to granite or stone.

Measuring

  • Measure from the nearest boundary (wall, window, or door) to the side-edge line at the first panel’s desired location.
  • Measure and mark the distance between the floor and the desired panel top location.
  • Using a level, draw a horizontal top line for the panel location.
  • Using a level, mark the vertical boundary line for the panel location.

Attaching Panel to Wall

  • Place the panel on the wall between the vertical and horizontal lines on the side.
  • To imprint, the wall at the marking plugs lightly touches the panel at the corners.
  • Remove the panel from the wall and the marking plugs from the panel’s rear.
  • Wall anchor points are indicated by indents from marker plugs.
  • Step 2: Screw wall anchors into the indentation marks.
  • Anchor ratchet inserts in black are screwed into wall anchors.
  • Panel snap anchors should be placed at the ratchet inserts.
  • At each corner, firmly press the panel onto the inserts.
Material RequiredTools Required
1 ½” wood screwsPower drill
Measuring tape
Marking pencil

Acoustic Isolation Membrane

Acoustic membranes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are quite heavy, while others are quite light. 

They also have various capacities for lowering decibel levels and are excellent at filtering specific frequencies. 

When it comes to preventing sound from moving from one region of the building to another, these membranes perform admirably. You’ll need to look at the weight and compare it to the sound you’re trying to avoid.

Tips for installation

  • Allow 48 to 72 hours for the floor covering to adapt to the ambient temperature before installing it (mostly for wood and vinyl flooring);
  • Use the right trowel for the job. Follow the instructions provided by the adhesive manufacturer;
  • To avoid contact between the structures and the floor covering, raise the membrane vertically about 2 inches (5 cm) on the walls.
  • Ensure that the membrane’s seams are sealed and that there is no space between the strips. The membrane strips should be touching but not overlapping; use a flooring roller after glueing the membrane down to guarantee optimal adhesion.
  • To avoid any overlaps, install the floor covering perpendicular to the membrane. Follow the instructions provided by the floor covering manufacturer;
  • Decouple all materials and use the proper acoustic membrane for each type of floor covering 

To avoid noise/vibration transfer, baseboards should not come into close touch with the floor covering. Allow for expansion of the floor covering and noise/vibration transfer by leaving a space between the floor covering and the wall.

Material Required
Acoustic membranes

Closed Cell Neoprene

Closed-cell neoprene, sometimes known as acoustic foam, is a popular recording studio material. It effectively dampens low-frequency wavelengths and can aid in the reduction of echo and reverb in the room. 

Foam’s density makes it a good sound absorber and makes sound waves harder to travel through. It works well at decreasing vibrating noise and is commonly seen on the feet of washing machines for this purpose.

 This is a wonderful choice for lightweight soundproofing material if you have a studio that encounters vibrating noise from mechanical equipment.

Properties

  • It’s ozone-resistant.
  • Oxidation resistance
  • Sunlight-resistant
  • Many outdoor applications require the use of a gasket.
  • This material complies with the following standards: UL157, UL50E, UL50, UL48, UL508, AND UL94HF-1, and is available in soft (2A1), medium soft (2A2), medium (2A3), and extra firm (2A5) densities.
  • Temperatures range from -40°F to +200°F (+250°F Intermittently)

Fibreglass 

Fibreglass is a fantastic soundproofing material that is available to the majority of people. They may not be the ideal option for decreasing vibrational noise, but they are fantastic at lowering airborne noise, such as other people conversing in the next room.

 Acoustical panels, which are usually a fibreglass core covered in an acoustic fabric, are available for sound absorption

Fibreglass insulation will also aid to reduce noise, and fibreglass ceiling panels will add to the room’s soundproofing impact as well. They’re one of the lightest soundproofing materials on the market, and they’re simple to install.

Types

Batts are the most prevalent type of fibreglass insulation. These batts are available in a variety of thicknesses, ranging from three to six inches. Fibreglass batts are a popular choice among homeowners due to their ease of installation. 

Fibreglass insulation is available in rolls as well. The most significant distinction between fibreglass insulation batts and rolls is how they are installed. 

Larger fibreglass rolls are turned out between walls and ceiling frames, while batts are put in various portions.

Plywood

Plywood is lightweight, but it usually needs something else if you are building a professional studio. 

It does have some sound reduction qualities, but you will probably want to use it as the base for neoprene acoustic panels, or other materials. It is cheap and easy to install, and you can get it in a variety of thicknesses for your needs.

Material Required
Plywood

Mass loaded vinyl

Mass loaded vinyl is another alternative for lightweight soundproofing (MLV). MLV is an adhesive or spray-on substance made of PVC plastic. 

This style has been demonstrated to give some efficient insulation against outside disturbances like traffic and noisy neighbours, while yet allowing individuals inside the building enough area to move around without being disturbed by outside noises.

 One disadvantage is that if not installed properly, this material could cause harm, especially when applied over other surfaces such as wood panelling or wallpaper with grooves to help it absorb sound.

 It’s frequently put with a layer of drywall to limit noise transfer from one side of the wall to the other.

Material Required
Mass loaded vinyl

Cotton batt insulation

This sort of insulation is manufactured from recycled cotton fibres and is eco-friendly because it does not require the felling of trees.

 Cotton batt insulation has a high R-value, so it can keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Material Required
Cotton batt insulation

Blown insulation

Another type of fibreglass-based lightweight soundproofing material that can be put by a homeowner is blown insulation

One benefit of utilising blown insulation for home soundproofing is that it is a cost-effective solution, as materials can be found at most hardware stores or lumberyards.

 Keep in mind that blown insulation has little fire resistance, so employ caution during installation if your ceiling has flammable things like wood beams or paper wallpaper.

Material Required
blown insulation

Mineral Wool

Mineral wool is a sort of natural insulation made from rocks, slag, or glass. Spun fibreglass, blown fibreglass, and stone wool are just a few of the ways it can be made. 

Mineral wool is commonly used in soundproofing commercial and industrial buildings, but it can also be used in residences to assist in lower noise levels. Mineral wool is fire and moisture resistant, which means it won’t easily ignite if there’s a fire or if it gets wet during a storm. 

It also has a high R-value, which means it can keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Material Required
Mineral wool

Conclusion

You now have a variety of lightweight soundproofing materials to choose from. Each has its own set of uses and is best suited to various types of sound sources or frequencies.

 Making your surroundings acoustically isolated for professional sound work necessitates a thorough examination of the types of sounds you want to eliminate, the structure of your building components, ease of installation, and the amount of weight they will add to the walls. Depending on your exact soundproofing needs, combining multiple different approaches may be the best option.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): lightweight soundproof material

What material absorbs the least sound?

Soft, flexible, or porous materials (such as textiles) are good acoustic insulators, absorbing the majority of sound while thick, rigid, impenetrable materials (such as metals) reflect the majority.

Does rubber reduce noise?

Rubber is commonly utilised for soundproofing throughout the home, as you can see from this list. In fact, similar to silicone caulk, this latex could settle into tiny cracks in your walls. As a result, that may be why there’s a slight difference in sound.

Is Styrofoam good for soundproofing?

While styrofoam can effectively dampen or cancel noise when used in conjunction with denser materials, it cannot do so on its alone. Styrofoam is an excellent insulator and shock absorber, so if you’ve ever wondered if styrofoam absorbs sound, you’re not far off the mark.

What can stop sound waves?

Sound can only be stopped by mass. Drywall, plywood, and concrete are all examples of mass. Between layers of mass, MLV (Mass Loaded Vinyl) is used to dampen or weaken sound waves. 

The use of a Viscoelastic Damping Compound (VDC) or MLV weakens sound waves before they reach the next layer of mass.

Can plastic block sound?

Soundproofing properties can be found in a plastic sheet. It performs admirably in terms of sound dampening and absorption, lowering the amount of noise that enters your home. However, for efficient sound absorption, it must be at least 10 millimetres thick.

Is plywood good for soundproofing?

Because sound travels swiftly through wood, plywood is the least effective. Although OSB and MDF have similar soundproofing properties to drywall, they have inherent disadvantages that make them a less desirable option in many instances. None of these materials will be soundproof on their own.

References

https://bettersoundproofing.com/drywall-osb-plywood-mdf-for-soundproofing/

https://www.acoustiblok.co.uk/soundproofing-materials/
https://engineering.stackexchange.com/questions/14607/what-is-the-best-thin-light-material-to-kill-absorb-sound-sorbothane
https://www.priceindustries.com/noisecontrol/products/qa-qaf-acoustic-louvers

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