Winter is the time of year when most people park their hot rods and muscle cars, using the downtime to make upgrades and repairs. One of the best improvements you can make, especially if you’ve already removed the interior, is to add acoustic-barrier material from Heatshield Products to strategic areas of the interior to gain a quiet ride in the warmer months.
The quiet confines of new cars and trucks have left us pretty spoiled when it comes to noise intrusion, something that becomes readily apparent when going from a modern car to a classic car or truck. This “awareness” of noise is amplified if you’ve got a performance-oriented vehicle with aftermarket exhaust, or engine and suspension mods, which increase noise as well. Although a stiffer suspension typically increases handling prowess and ability, it also means more acoustic noise is being transmitted to the body and passenger compartment.
In addition to a wide array of thermal-barrier products, Heatshield Products offers the db line, which are specially developed acoustic-barrier products for solving problems like vibration, noise intrusion and sound damping. They’re also engineered to be as thin and lightweight as possible, since weight is often a major negative of typical acoustic-barrier materials, due to the kind of barrier used and the thickness required to achieve proper damping. Here’s a rundown of some of the acoustic-barrier materials from Heatshield Products:
Floorpans, trunk pans and similar panels can have very irregularly shaped surfaces. For example, just look at the floorpan on a third- or fourth-gen GM F-body, or the floorpan on a GM A-body. It looks like a topographical map of Utah! db Shield™ was engineered to mold easily to surfaces with irregular shaping. With a structure made of multiple layers of vinyl-based sheets bonded together, and the ability to stretch up to 40 percent its original size, the db Shield™ creates a surface that looks as though it has been dipped in plastic. db Shield™ has an adhesive backing that makes installation simple, and at only .045-inch thick, it can be installed in even the tightest of places. db Shield™ also features a proprietary component blend including a lightweight vinyl carrier engineered to convert structural resonance (vibration) into low-level heat through friction. The friction is created from each proprietary component blend coming in contact with one another as the substrate (or panel) vibrates. It’s also ideally suited to create or replace a vapor barrier behind an interior door panel, and is much more dense and rugged than the flimsy plastic or wax paper material provided by many O.E.s. And, it’s able to withstand continuous temperatures of up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
A quick, effective way to install acoustic damping over a large surface area is with the sprayable/brushable db Skin™. It dampens acoustic vibration in a range of 10 to 40 KHz when applied to a variety of substrates/surfaces, and cures from its purple color to a deep black. It will adhere to wood, fiberglass, metal or plastic. When used on wood, db Skin™ soaks into the pores, seams and gaps, creating an effective acoustic seal that gives up to an additional 3 decibels of sound damping. You can apply db Skin™ with a brush, roller or “shutz” spray gun. And since it is water-based, cleanup after application is easily handled with warm water before the product dries.
The standard in sound-damping performance, db Armor™ is a specially formulated acoustic damping material that is 20 percent lighter than competitive butyl-based products. It is thinner (.051 inch/6 mil) and lighter (0.39 pounds per square foot) than the competition. We are talking three times the acoustic damping! This means builders can fully dampen/insulate an interior without adding unnecessary weight that could negatively affect performance. db Armor™ can be used on steel, aluminum, plastic or fiberglass, and acts to decrease the structural resonance of the surface. This leads to a quieter, tighter and more enjoyable cabin. db Armor™ adhesive backing makes installation easy, and trimming/cutting the material is a breeze.