Noise and vibration dampening (Part – I)

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By Pam Hane | Feb 10, 2020
Acoustic management solutions

Buzz, squeak, and rattle (BSR), a term frequently used by automotive engineers, refers to the incessant noise or unwanted squeaky sound that you hear in your car at times. While BSR remains one of the most common, yet challenging problems of the automotive industry, it is also of paramount importance in other industries including electronics, aerospace, and appliances. BSR can be caused by any moving components or the improper bonding and attachment of two parts. Whether it’s a cooling fan, medical pump, or washing machine, moving components within a device often causes friction, damaging the parts over their lifetime. In addition, devices, especially hand-held and portable ones, are prone to severe impact by a sudden hit or drop on the floor. Minimizing noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) is critical to the optimal performance and longevity of any device.

In the past, the issue of NVH was addressed by inserting a piece of neoprene or rubber between two com­ponents, held together by a screw, nut, or bolt. While this solution helps to reduce vibration, the mechanical fasteners create a rigid bond that is susceptible to cracking or breaking on impact. In recent times, engineers often try to attack the problem of vibration at the source, which is commonly known as vibration isolation. However, in cases where isolation is not possible, the issue is resolved by introducing noise and vibration dampeners. The dampeners essentially absorb the noise and dissipate it over the surface, thus mitigating fatigue, stress, and vibration.

Finding the right noise-blocking solutions can not only improve device quality, but also enhance the end-user experience. Fortunately, companies such as 3M and Rogers Corporation have opened doors to multiple acoustic management solutions in the form of acoustic foams, tapes, and adhesives. In addition to replac­ing mechanical fasteners, these solutions exhibit high resiliency and shock absorption characteristics. This cost-effective approach to acoustic damping offers the following advantages:

  • Minimize noise, vibration, and harshness
  • Reduce buzz, squeak, and rattle
  • Exhibit high viscoelasticity, resiliency, and dimensional stability
  • Allow for quick and easy application
  • Improve the durability and performance of the device

While each application requires a customized solution, there are certain product families from 3M and Rog­ers Corporation that are predominantly utilized by GM Nameplate to resolve noise and vibration de­sign challenges. To learn more about these solutions, stay tuned for our next blog.