Sound Deadening Material
Vibrating metal is loud. Most people would rather live in a quiet, calm environment. The combination of these two facts has birthed an entire industry of sound deadening materials for automotive applications. Sound deadening for cars usually is describing a process called vibration damping, which is a material is adhered to the metal surface to reduce vibrational noise (or structural noise). There are two primary categories of vibration dampers used in vehicles: sound deadening mats and sound deadening liquids.
Every sound deadening mat has a constraint layer (often aluminum foil) and an elastomeric material that also acts as an adhesive. There’s a lot of math and science behind it, but basically the quality of the materials, the thickness of the materials, and the quality of the bond formed with the application surface determines the effectiveness of the sound deadener.
Second Skin has developed it’s own formula that we use in our Damplifier Pro and Damplifier sound deadening mats. We have not yet found a mat that performs better than Damplifier Pro (we use labs to test). The #1 thing to remember about sound deadening mats is that you’re looking for butyl rubber, not asphalt. People buy asphalt because it’s cheaper and they often don’t know better. Unfortunately, you end up spending more because asphalt performs so much worse (butyl damps 3-10x better depending on temperature and the brand), has been known to fail and fall off, and outgases chemicals when heated – class 2B carcinogen type of chemicals. The choice is there for you though.
Sound deadening liquids work the same way as the mats, but they can be painted or sprayed on instead of rolled on with a hand roller. We have our own proprietary formula here too. Spectrum is a water based, viscoelastic polymer formulated for peak vibration damping and adhesion. It’s rustproof, waterproof, chemical resistant, flame resistant, non-toxic, and dries odorless with a seamless, black finish. Just like with the mats, there are low quality options out there. Anything in an aerosol won’t have a nozzle big enough to spray particles big enough for effective sound deadening. They are very convenient to use, but we choose not to offer sound deadening spray in a can because it just doesn’t work all that well.
So there you have it. Mats or liquids. Pick what’s right for you. Even if you decide not to go with Second Skin, we’re happy to help you figure out your project.