Custom acoustic insulation for mobile equipment reduces the amount of engine noise that reaches the cab or cabin where an operator sits. It supports worker health and safety, regulatory compliance, and the integrity of parts or assemblies that may otherwise fail because of noise-induced vibrations. If you’re a mobile equipment manufacturer, you need custom acoustic insulation that does all of these things and that is easy to source and install. You may also need design assistance and help with product selection.
Elasto Proxy specializes in custom sound absorbers, sound barriers, and sound dampening solutions for the mobile equipment industry. Because we understand the science of sound, we can help you to meet challenging decibel-reduction requirements. Sound is more complicated than it seems, and the noise that an operator hears may not travel directly from the engine to the cab. If you’re struggling to stop the sound, contact us to discuss your noise control application or keep reading to learn more about how we can help.
Case Study: Decibel Reduction and Noise Control
A North American manufacturer of diesel-powered equipment won a large contract with a European company. To meet European Union (EU) standards for worker health and safety, the manufacturer needed to reduce cabin noise levels by 10 decibels (dB). Because the human ear detects variations in pressure caused by sound waves, the amplitude of this variation, or noise level, is measured in dB. Yet, sound pressure level (SPL), or sound power, uses a logarithmic scale for some significant percentages.
As this table shows, dB reductions are hard to achieve because they require major cuts in sound power.
To reduce the noise level by
You need to reduce the sound power by
To help the manufacturer meet its noise control requirements, Elasto Proxy analyzed the path of the sound and the design of the mobile equipment itself. The cabin for this diesel-powered machine is in front of the engine and contains four windows with large glass surfaces that propagate sound. There is also a metal wall between the back of the cabin and the engine itself. To insulate this wall, Elasto Proxy suggested a double layer of custom acoustic insulation that included a sound barrier made of mass loaded vinyl (MVL). The other material is an acoustical foam for sound absorption that absorbs low frequencies from the diesel engine.
Our top-to-bottom approach included adding acoustical foam to the headliner and installing sound insulation under the flooring. We also recommended added insulation underneath the cabin itself. This multi-layer material has a foil facing that protects the sound absorbing foam from outdoor elements. Because sound waves can travel through metal, we also recommended insulating the exhaust and above the transmission. The 39 pieces of custom acoustic insulation that Elasto Proxy provides are cut to fit existing cabin features and come with an adhesive backing for easy peel-and-stick installation.
Yet, even with all of these noise control enhancements, the mobile equipment manufacturer still needed to do more. After all, achieving a 10 dB noise level reduction requires a 90% reduction in sound power. To help stop the sound at its source, the manufacturer eliminated some of the vents on the engine cover. Big diesel engines need some ventilation, but sound follows the same path as air. By working closely with Elasto Proxy, the manufacturer was able to make some design modifications that complemented the noise control solution we provided.
How Custom Acoustic Insulation is Made
Elasto Proxy buys sound absorbing, sound blocking, and sound dampening materials in sheets or rolls from trusted suppliers in cost-effective quantities.
- Sound absorbers are made of polyester, polyester, urethane, or melamine foams.
- Sound blockers or noise barriers are made of mass loaded vinyl (MVL) that’s filled with tiny particles of salt, sand, or metal.
- Sound dampers or vibration dampers are made of extruded vinyl, asphalt-impregnated paperboard, metal foil, or fiberglass.
Elasto Proxy can laminate these different types of materials together to create “insulation sandwiches” with multiple layers, each with a specialized noise control function.
Using water jet cutting, Elasto Proxy then fabricates insulating materials or custom insulation sandwiches into the shape and sizes that you need. Unlike manual cutting, water jet equipment is fast and precise so that you can reduce in-house labor costs and material waste. Because there’s no tooling, you won’t have to pay for dies or wait for tools to arrive. Water jet cutting is great for prototyping and is a smart choice for low-to-medium volumes of custom acoustic insulation.
Water jet cutting can also accommodate cabin features such as overhead lighting, storage compartments, and the exposed bolt heads on walls or floors. The angled or chamfered cuts that we make ensure a tight fit around these and other features for optimal noise control. These highly-accurate cuts also support greater perceptions of quality among buyers who notice cabin details. For mobile equipment operators who work long shifts, a well-made cabin contributes to workplace safety and job satisfaction.
The employees who install acoustic insulation can also benefit from the noise control products that Elasto Proxy supplies. Acoustic insulation can be applied with spray adhesives, but that process can be hazardous to human health and usually requires wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). By contrast, the insulation that Elasto Proxy makes is easy to apply. Just peel off the backing and stick the insulation to the cabin surface. We can even help you with adhesive selection for especially demanding applications.
Get the Elasto Bag
Do you need acoustic insulation for mobile equipment? Maybe you need thermal insulation or a complete thermal-acoustical solution instead. The Elasto Bag, a sack full of samples from Elasto Proxy, contains at least nine samples of sealing and insulation. We can also include samples of edge trim, bulb trim, or D-shaped profiles with adhesives if you need them. Just let us know what you’re looking for and how we can help you. Ask for the Elasto Bag.