Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl? - Car Audio | DiyMobileAudio.com | Car Stereo Forum

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Old 12-16-2018   #1
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Arrow Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Back in the summer of 2017 I wanted to test a common rule of thumb: mass loaded vinyl should always be decoupled from nearby surfaces, and closed cell foam is the right material to do it.

Many of you kindly donated materials for this experiment and I am very, very thankful for it. I am thrilled to finally finish and post the results. This took a very long time to write because I did not have a solid method to interpret the results until just recently when we covered the transmissibility ratio in an acoustics class I'm taking. I apologize for the delay, but I hope the wait is worthwhile.

the report is at my dropbox here --> MLV decoupling report v1.3

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Old 12-16-2018   #2
 
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

*proceeds to order 1 ton of pillow stuffing to market as my own decoupler*

Glad you got around to this. Thanks.

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Old 12-16-2018   #3
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

awesome to see this written up!! Thanks!!!

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Old 12-16-2018   #4
 
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Nice work.

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Old 12-16-2018   #5
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Thank you sir, for taking the time to do the research, & saving me some time & money!

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Old 12-17-2018   #6
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

That is quality work.
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Old 12-17-2018   #7
 
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Question. So what if the MLV can't hang free. Is it going to introduce noise? If MLV is used, without adding a dedicated decoupling material, and it is decoupled by trim panels and sheet metal, is that worse than no MLV at all?

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Old 12-17-2018   #8
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Thank you for this. I use 1/8" neoprene stuck to both sides with contact adhesive but now this has me thinking....

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Old 12-17-2018   #9
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Whoa. Good read. Thanks for putting in the effort.

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Old 12-17-2018   #10
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Is there actually a claim that using CCF between the MLV and door is done to enhance the effectiveness of the MLV specifically to block noise? I've never read that. Are there manufacturers/sellers claiming that?
I had always thought the intention of CCF between the door and MLV was to decouple to prevent any vibration/resonance of the MLV against the door panel...Which makes sense.

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From my research you need to start with a CLD tile with only 25% coverage( 2mm butenyl and 4mm aluminum gave the best measurements). Add a Closed cell foam as thick as you can find and place a mlv piece on top. Then apply 1" + inches of open cell foam on top. Each layer has an air gap.

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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

WOW, great report sir. Thanks for your time. Nice to see the heat wave pro I used with my MLV tested good. Shocked to see how poorly most of the foams worked for decoupling.
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Old 12-17-2018   #13
 
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainobvious View Post
Is there actually a claim that using CCF between the MLV and door is done to enhance the effectiveness of the MLV specifically to block noise? I've never read that. Are there manufacturers/sellers claiming that?
I had always thought the intention of CCF between the door and MLV was to decouple to prevent any vibration/resonance of the MLV against the door panel...Which makes sense.
ive seen claims of not decoupling causing the vibration from the car to just transfer to the mlv and cause it to not be very effective. dont remember if it is right from the companies, or some random diyma claim. I can see why it would be the case though.

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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

So, I donít see what any recommendation might be. Is there a certain thickness of polyester open cell foam (pillow stuffing) that could be used to decouple, assuming we would only use in dry areas, such as under interior carpet, inside rear quarter panels, etc. How thick would this need to be before the MLV crushes it and renders it ineffective? Does 1lb sq ft vs. 2lbs sq ft MLV matter? Should we still utilize Richard Vedvicks method in the door and scrap the CCF MLV method? I obviously have more questions than answers, lol.

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Old 12-17-2018   #15
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

I guess the main case that was left untested then was:
N) MLV connected using Velcro?
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Old 12-17-2018   #16
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Quote:
Originally Posted by karmajack View Post
Question. So what if the MLV can't hang free. Is it going to introduce noise? If MLV is used, without adding a dedicated decoupling material, and it is decoupled by trim panels and sheet metal, is that worse than no MLV at all?
A mass loaded barrier will reduce noise transferring from one side to the other. It could possibly introduce noise by rubbing/buzzing against a nearby surface if the conditions are just right, but generally not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainobvious View Post
Is there actually a claim that using CCF between the MLV and door is done to enhance the effectiveness of the MLV specifically to block noise? I've never read that. Are there manufacturers/sellers claiming that?
I had always thought the intention of CCF between the door and MLV was to decouple to prevent any vibration/resonance of the MLV against the door panel...Which makes sense.
The two ideas you have are the same thing. Vibration of the mass loaded vinyl is transferring noise, no matter what causes it to vibrate. Manufacturers may or may not be claiming the decoupling works this way or that ... but manufacturers are catering to the idea by making vinyl pre-glued to foam or lead sheeting pre-glued between layers of foam etc. Decoupling using closed cell foam is also ingrained in the culture here for example see the next comment below \/

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-pop sucks View Post
From my research you need to ... Add a Closed cell foam as thick as you can find and place a mlv piece on top...
My research shows otherwise. I encourage you to run an experiment with your approach and let us know how it goes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by beak81champ View Post
So, I donít see what any recommendation might be. Is there a certain thickness of polyester open cell foam (pillow stuffing) that could be used to decouple, assuming we would only use in dry areas, such as under interior carpet, inside rear quarter panels, etc. How thick would this need to be before the MLV crushes it and renders it ineffective? Does 1lb sq ft vs. 2lbs sq ft MLV matter? Should we still utilize Richard Vedvicks method in the door and scrap the CCF MLV method? I obviously have more questions than answers, lol.
If you squish a material to half it's original thickness, it will become twice as stiff (or more). If you use a vinyl that is twice as heavy, it can compensate for a spring that is twice as stiff. I did not investigate the ideal ratios to use because I consider it to be a narrow niche case and impractical for nearly everyone.

I believe the method of stuffing the door with absorbent material has some value and I did this in my build log before I learned of Richard's post. How much difference it makes, I'm unsure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holmz View Post
I guess the main case that was left untested then was:
N) MLV connected using Velcro?
Velcro itself has almost no spring-like properties since it is designed to be fairly rigid, so it would not help to decouple the vinyl if used with 100% coverage. However, I think you're suggesting use velcro to hang it on the edges and leave the rest of the vinyl floating which is the recommendation I tried to make in the conclusion. If the vibration along the edge of the vinyl is "far" away from the middle of the vinyl where it is floating, the vibration isolation is excellent.

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Old 12-17-2018   #17
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Enlightening indeed, thanks for the effort.


Last edited by FordEscape; 12-17-2018 at 02:47 PM..
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Old 12-17-2018   #18
 
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Thank you for this project, and especially answering our questions using your findings! You guys that do these experiments and objective comparisons make it much easier for the rest of us to chose equipment, materials, ideas to clone, and save a bunch of money. I, for one, certainly appreciate all of you knowledgeable guys helping out the rest of us!!!

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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Thanks for your work and thanks to those that donated materials to support your work! It's great to see some scientific answers to our burning questions in this hobby.
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckirocz28 View Post
Thanks for your work and thanks to those that donated materials to support your work! It's great to see some scientific answers to our burning questions in this hobby.
Yes indeed, a huge thank you to everyone who donated materials for this experiment. We all sincerely appreciate the kindness!

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Old 12-17-2018   #21
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkizeR View Post
*proceeds to order 1 ton of pillow stuffing to market as my own decoupler*

Glad you got around to this. Thanks.
I wonder how well this would work: take tyvec sheets, cut to match your door card, sew shut on the edges, then fill with synthetic pillow stuffing. Place in between MLV and door.

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Old 12-17-2018   #22
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Zazzi View Post
Yes indeed, a huge thank you to everyone who donated materials for this experiment. We all sincerely appreciate the kindness!
Thanks for taking the time to do this!

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I made a mistake regarding closed cell foam thickness, greater than 3/8's gives marginal returns. The only benefit of open cell foam is when it's thickness can be 2" or more in thickness. That's why open cell foam isn't recommended.
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Old 12-19-2018   #24
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Thanks Justin. I always have had my doubts about needing to add the CCF layer. In most cases the MLV is pushed down by the weight of the carpet or tnesion of the trim pieces. Yes its possible MLV could be hung in a way to pick up some vibration, but I would think the vibration of that metal would have to be of significant amplitude to excite the MLV. In 90% of my MLV installs I don't believe that is happening. I've certainly never found a resonance related to my MLV installs . I don't really mind a little extra cost for the CCF, I just minded the extra labor of attaching it. I will no longer be using it. Especially since my product of choice was the RAAM Ensolite which tested very poorly !
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Old 12-19-2018   #25
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Default Re: Report: is closed cell foam the right material to decouple mass loaded vinyl?

Products like Ensolite are a good idea. Justin is saying it does not stop the transfer of vibration to the MLV but it certainly stops a panel from buzzing or a clip from slapping against the MLV. I personally will still use it as that was my intention to begin with. I never interpreted the idea in a way that metal transferred vibration to mlv which in turn vibrated causing resonance. I actually always thought that it was to stop stuff from vibrating against each other.

Just because I have 2000+ posts doesn't mean I have learned anything.
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