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New technologies in sound dampening

Friday, March 1, 2019 - 08:00
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As demand for passenger vehicles continues to expand in emerging markets and they become more technologically advanced, consumers are placing greater importance on maximizing comfort and creating the best overall driving experience.

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Noises created from a vehicle’s structure as well as airborne noises may cause passenger discomfort or annoyance. However, new technologies and advances in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) materials for sound dampening are providing options to eliminate extra noise from in-cabin vibrations and friction.

NVH materials – acoustic devices generally classified as sound-absorbing materials, sound-barrier materials, and sound dampening materials – are used both inside and outside a vehicle to eliminate noise. Liquid applied spray dampers, liquid applied sound dampers, liquid applied sound deadener, and liquid applied spray deadener are all different terminologies for NVH materials used for the same process – applying a layer of material to dampen sound transmission.

Technicians use automotive noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) materials in repairs to provide either acoustic absorption or acoustic insulation to absorb sound.

Creating a heavy layer – the thicker the layer, the less sound that can come through – will diminish or eliminate noise. These materials, however, are not only used during the collision repair process, but some vehicle owners are also requesting additional sound dampening following the installation of aftermarket accessories and systems, such as an upgraded stereo.

Understanding post-repair sound dampening

With the global automotive NVH market expected to grow more than 10 percent through 2021 for several reasons – such as more vehicles with active noise control systems, consumer preferences about comfort and safety, and even changing regulatory frameworks – it is important for repair technicians to understand what aftermarket sound dampening materials are available and how to use them.

One of the biggest consumer complaints about a vehicle post repair is that sounds “tinny” – like a tin can or an irritating, high-pitched noise – from inside. More often than not, technicians repair the fender or door but haven’t replaced NVH or beta patches or have not reattached door skins to the body structure – such as underneath a door beam.

This all affects sound dampening. Eliminating – or at least reducing – any noise or vibration does not change just how a car rides but how it actually feels. Automotive NVH materials provide either acoustic absorption or acoustic insulation to absorb sound. Noises and audible body sounds are two of the biggest problems/complaints from vehicle owners, which contribute to how a vehicle handles and to the overall driver experience.

A tinny sound comes from not replacing NVH material removed during vehicle repair. It is absolutely critical to put back any sound dampening material originally installed by the OEM during the assembly process.

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