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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Dampen Workshop Noise With Paper Pulp And Kool-Aid — OH YEAH!

noise dampener

If you’re fortunate enough to have a garage and a workshop, you probably also have neighbors. The truly blessed must work within the confines of an HOA that restricts noise, porch couches, and most types of fun. [Mike] is among the truly blessed, and when he decided to design a cabinet for his CNC equipment, he took noise dampening into consideration.

[Mike]’s design isn’t a blanket noise dampener; it’s specifically designed for the high-pitch symphony of his router, compressor, and vacuum. He also sought to avoid vibrating the cabinet. To achieve this, the sound-dampening panels are hung on eye hooks with a 1/2″ gap between them and the frame. The backer boards are cut from 3/4″ plywood. [Mike] considered using cement board, but thought it might be overkill since he plants to shell the cabinet in a layer of 3/4″ plywood.

The deadening material is paper pulp made from various shredded papers. After soaking the shreds in water and blending the mixture to an oatmeal consistency, he drained most of the water through a cloth bag. Then he added just enough wood glue to hold the pulpy goo together. The tropical punch Kool-Aid powder isn’t just for looks; it provides visual confirmation of even glue distribution.

[Mike] made some tape walls around the edge of his backer boards to hold the mixture in place and painted on some wood glue to hold the pulp. He spread the tropical concoction to 1/2″ thickness with a tiling trowel to avoid compressing it. The peaks and valleys help scatter any sound that isn’t absorbed. Pudding awaits you after the jump.

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