Almost everybody in his or her life has been searching for the best soundproofing materials at reasonable prices.
This is not an easy task, as there are not many experienced buyers in the market, there is a lot of inferior supply making use of the lack of acoustic knowledge with some buyers.
As explained soundproofing is similar to sound mitigation, it’s improving the sound insulation of (i.e. a wall) so that noises won’t pass through the wall so easily after the soundproofing materials have been installed. This is different from improving an acoustic climate in a room (i.e. canceling reverberation), this can be done with lightweight foams.
Typically to improve the soundproofing quality, improve the sound transmission index, better stop the noise, you’ll need a lot of mass and space.
In many cases, however, noise insulation issues (noise from outdoors, neighbors) are only noticed once you already bought or rented a place to live. Hence, everything is installed and space most of the time is scarce. What you are looking for is a high-performing material that uses as little space as possible.
For quite some time engineers discovered that MLV (Mass Loaded Vinyl) is very good at blocking noise, especially in difficult areas (low frequencies). In most cases, it’s only 3 mm thick and can have a noise reduction index (STC) of 32 dB! That is impressive!
How can it be that such a thin material can block the noise so effectively ? The mlv is very heavy yet flexible so it’s able to absorb the sound energy and disperse it. Basically, the mlv will vibrate with the noise and change the energy into heat (not noticeable), hence noise will be blocked. It’s easy to install especially suited for DIY installation.
However, as stated at the start of this blog, buyers cannot really see the difference in the quality of various mlv’s that are avaialble in the market. Not all products from mlv are blocking the noise evenly.
Most of them are just selling mlv for soundproofing but never performed proper Sound Transmission Loss measurements in an acoustic laboratory. The cheaper ones reduce only 10 – 15 dB and the better ones (especially acoustically optimized mlv) up to 32 dB. Note that the Decibel is logarithmic so the material itself can stop 32 dB but if you add it to a solid concrete wall that already has a noise transmission loss of 50 dB the total insulation will be less than 82 dB! MLV will be most effective on a small air gap from a concrete wall and even more effective if the existing wall is relatively light (not concrete). If your wall has insulation of only 20 dB, with adding mlv on the right way you can achieve up to 40 dB Sound Transmission Loss. If your supplier of acoustically optimized mlv is knowledgeable they can advise the best way to install it so you’ll get the best soundproofing effects!
One of the better ones is BlastBlock BB830, STC value 32 dB, thickness 3 mm, weight 5 kg per square meter.
There are more alternatives, just make sure they have a datasheet with the STC value (should be > 30 dB) from an accredited laboratory. This way you can be sure that you buy the right material and will achieve the soundproofing level that you require!
Here below is an example of a high-rise condominium where the soundproofing of the walls and floors is guarded with acoustically designed mlv. The owner of this high-rise condominium thought of soundproofing before installing the interior which saved a lot of money. Of course, it is always better to take care of soundproofing before decorating the interior but many times the soundproofing was thought not to be important during the construction.
Acoustically optimized mlv is used in a wide range of soundproofing and sound damping. Noise from airconditioning, walls, floors, ceilings, door panels, noise barriers, ducts, etc.Follow me: