I am currently building a box filled with electronics and I now look to isolate the sound a bit with the lightest and best material out there.

What I am looking for is a thin, lightweight and very soundproof material. I came across a material called Sortbothane and it seems like a very good fit.

Sorbothane Acoustic & Vibration Damping Film 40 Duro

0.04" of Sorbothane Will Absorb up to 4 dB

That number is pretty impressive I must say and the material seems to be reasonable light and thin as well.

So to my question, do you think Sortobothane is the way to go or is there any other materials out there with the same/better soundabsorbing?

I am also thinking to combine a few materials to make it very solid. For instance I am planning to use a small layer of silicone as well.

  • $\begingroup$ Sadly thin and light materials are essentially the opposite of what you need to absorb sound the best. If you're going specifically for thin and light it seems like a good option though. It does seem to dissipate energy very well. $\endgroup$
    – JMac
    Apr 4 '17 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ Yea exactly the thicker the better of course! But as the model I have is pretty small i need it to be very thin. Yeah it seems to be a very good option! $\endgroup$
    – Martman
    Apr 4 '17 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ I am thinking about maybe using sorbothane and also make a thin layer of silicone around it to try to absorb even more. $\endgroup$
    – Martman
    Apr 4 '17 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ Sorbothane is definitely a "legitimate" material for vibration isolation, but whether you believe a claim from "some random guy on Ebay" is a different matter - especially since the claim only says "up to 4dB, so if you get 0.01dB you don't have any legal grounds to complain. Google for some suppliers with real technical data, like thorlabs.com/newgrouppage9.cfm?objectgroup_id=6421 $\endgroup$
    – alephzero
    Apr 4 '17 at 14:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @alephzero You can't really measure acoustic performance in dB reduction anyways. The dB reduction will vary based on frequency as well as material, so it will cut out some pitches better than others. $\endgroup$
    – JMac
    Apr 4 '17 at 16:36

Isolate and absorb are two different things:

  • Vibration isolation means let one side of the material vibrate but keep the vibrations from transmitting through.
  • Acoustic absorption means to dissipate vibration energy into heat at the audible frequencies.

When used in the proper geometric configuration, a thin layer of Sorbothane could work well for either of these applications. Its just important to approach your problem with an intent. It will be best used at the interface between two masses, like the enclosure and the mounting location or the door of the enclosure and the enclosure, etc. Selecting this interface, and changing the amount of mass can direct toward isolating or absorbing the concerned frequency. This will take some math and/or some experimentation. Other means of attachment across this interface like bolts, screws, adhesives, etc will influence how well the absorbs/isolates behaves.

Lower-energy and higher frequency sounds that are already airborne (like a buzzing electronic component) may be better absorbed with open celled acoustic foam inside the enclosure.

  • $\begingroup$ Alright. Thanks a lot for this valuable information. I do have some foam at home looking like this: gear4music.com/Recording-and-Computers/… that I might want to experience with a little bit then! I also ordered the sorbothane. When it comes to my issue it has not that much to do with vibration but mostly to remove a high pitch (propeller-like) sound $\endgroup$
    – Martman
    Apr 5 '17 at 9:40

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