Tape Is Very, Very Quiet

If someone stops by and asks you to help them make some noisy thing less noisy, you probably wouldn’t reach for a roll of tape. But [The Action Lab] shows some 3M tape made for exactly that purpose. For the right kind of noise, it can dampen noise caused by a surface vibrating. You can see how (and why) it works in the video below.

The tape works using a technique known as “constrained layer damping.” Obviously, the tape only works in certain applications. The video explains that it bonds a stiff surface to the vibrating surface using an elastic-like layer. The tape reduces vibrations from things like cymbals and a cookie tin. The noise reduction is both in amplitude and in the duration of the sound, making things noticeably quieter.

You sometimes see a similar material in cars to reduce vibration noise, but we aren’t sure if it uses the same technique. We’ve also seen different kinds of tape used to lower drums’ volume. Reduces the neighbor’s complaints about your practice jam sessions.

This tape reduces noise but can also reduce fatigue wear on metal and composite structures. The downside is it seems extraordinarily expensive. It also doesn’t help that most places want you to buy an entire case, which drives the price even higher. Depending on the size, you can expect to pay about $200 for each 36-yard roll of this tape. But it seems like the principle involved is simple enough that you could make your own, sort of like the video does with the aluminum plate.

Usually, when we talk about noise reduction around here, we mean the electronic kind. Or, sometimes, fungal.

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Dielectric Mirror Shines Bright

We knew the mirrors in our house were not really very good mirrors, optically speaking. Your mirror eats up 20 to 40 percent of the light that hits it. High-quality first-surface mirrors are better, but [Action Lab] has a video (see below) of something really different: a polymer dielectric mirror with 99.5% reflectivity. In addition, it has no Brewster angle — light that hits it from any angle will reflect.

Turns out something that thin and reflective can be hard to find. It also makes a little flashlight if you roll a tube of the material and pinch the back end together. The light that would have exited the rear of the tube now bounces around until it exits from the front, making it noticeably bright. The film comes from 3M, and apparently, they were surprised about the optical properties, too.

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IPhone Case Rehabilitation

[Richard Cabrera’s] iPhone was scratched from years of use. A big part of the appeal of Apple products is the dose of sexy that comes with them, so he set out to remedy this abomination. His iPhone case rehabilitation guide walks you through the miraculous transformation. One of the tools he uses is a headlight lens restoration kit from 3M because its polishing pads include graduated levels of grit for the transition from rough sanding to buffing. As you can see, the logo and text have been buffed off but that’s a small price to pay for what looks like a shiny new device.

Tiny Projector Teardown


The team from Tech-On has taken the time to teardown two interesting microprojectors. The first model they tackled was the Optoma PK101. It’s based around a digital micromirror device (DMD) like those used in DLP. Separate high intensity red, green, and blue LEDs provide the light source. A fly-eye style lens reduces variations between images. They noted that both the LEDs and processors were tied directly to the chassis to dissipate heat.

The next projector was the 3M Co MPro110. It uses Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) technology. The light source is a single bright white LED. The projector seems to have more provisions for getting rid of heat than the previous one. The most interesting part was the resin polarizing beam splitter. It not only reflected specific polarizations, but also adjust the aspect ratio.

[via Make]