Would you like to stop outside noise from disturbing the serenity of your Workshop or Office? Or would you prefer to make as much noise as you want without bothering the neighbors? If you’ve answered yes to either of these two questions, the solution is simple and it’s called Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV).
In this article, I will talk about all aspects of Mass Loaded Vynil when it comes to soundproofing.
Mass Loaded Vinyl or MLV is a special soundproofing material that is designed with the primary purpose of serving as a sound barrier. This flexible material also referred to as a “Limp Mass Barrier,” is made up of two principal components – a natural high mass element (such as Barium Sulfate or Calcium Carbonate) and vinyl.
What makes Mass Loaded Vinyl such a great choice for noise reduction is the fact that it’s a double threat – it is both a potent sound barrier and effective sound absorber. This is unlike most other noise reduction materials such as fiberglass or mineral fiber that only do one but not the other.
But asides from its sound absorbing and blocking capabilities, what really sets MLV apart is its flexibility. Unlike other soundproofing materials which are too rigid or thick to bend, Mass Loaded Vinyl is flexible enough to be bent and installed in a variety of places for a variety of purposes.
This means you get the density and soundproofing of materials like concrete or hardboard, but the flexibility of rubber. The Flexibility aspect allows you to wrap and mold MLV as you please to fulfill your noise reduction goal. It is simply a unique, versatile and superior material that takes soundproofing to a whole new level.
USES OF MASS LOADED VINYL?
Mass Loaded Vinyl Soundproofing Applications
Because of its flexibility, aesthetics, and safety, there are a wide variety of ways and places that MLV can be installed for noise reduction purposes. There are even instances of people installing them on outside fences and in cars.
Generally, people don’t install MLV directly to a surface. Instead, they sandwich it between other materials. With this approach, you can install MLV on concrete, stone or wooden floors, walls, ceilings and more.
Here are more places you can install MLV to optimize soundproofing：
Doors and Windows
It can be fixed with ease by installing MLV curtains over the door or window to minimize noise transmission. If you are worried that hanging MLV curtains over your door or window will ugly up your apartment, you forget that they can be painted. Paint the MLV curtain your preferred color and watch it complement your interior, and listen to it block the noise.
Machinery and Appliances
You can safely coat the offending machinery or appliance with MLV to keep the noise down. A popular MLV product for this is LY-MLV. The flexibility of MLV also makes it suitable for coating HVAC ductwork and pipes to muffle its incessant rumbling and clanking.
Asides from keeping the noise out of your vehicle, it also lets you finally enjoy your car’s sound system to the fullest by keeping the noise in and minimizing external noise that might ruin your groove.
Soundproofing Existing Walls
If you want to soundproof an entire room or even your entire building, your biggest fear is probably that you have to tear up the wall. With MLV, there’s no need for anything that extreme. All you need do is install furring strips through the drywall, install the Mass Loaded Vinyl over it, then top it all with another layer of drywall. This triple layer wall with a rich filling of MLV will make it practically impossible for sound to get in or out.
Soundproofing Ceilings or Floors
If you live in an apartment building and are sick of the noise of your upstairs and/or downstairs neighbors, installing Mass Loaded Vinyl in the ceiling and/or floor will help you effectively shut out the noise. More places you can install MLV for noise reduction purposes are partition walls of offices, school rooms, computer server rooms, and mechanical rooms.
ADVANTAGES OF MLV
·Thinness: To block sound, you need a very thick/dense material. When you think of something that dense, you probably picture a thick slab of concrete or something of equal density, not something that’s cardboard thin.
Even though it’s thin, Mass Loaded Vinyl blocks sound like a champ. Its combination of thinness and lightness results in the superior mass to thickness ratio which gives MLV a considerable advantage over other noise reduction materials. Its lightness also means you can use it on drywall without fear of it collapsing or caving under its weight.
·Flexibility: Another significant advantage of MLV is its flexibility which completely separates it from most other soundproofing materials which are rigid. You can twist, wrap and bend MLV anyway you want to install on surfaces of all shapes and forms. You can wrap and install it around pipes, bends, corners, vents or whatever hard-to-reach places you come across. This makes for excellent soundproofing as it covers the entire surface without leaving any gaps.
·High STC score: Sound Transmission Class (STC) is a unit of measurement for sound. MLV’s STC score is 25 to 27. This is a great score considering its thinness. To increase MLV’s soundproof capability, one only need as many layers as needed.
If you would like to find out more about MLV soundproofing and its installation, LeeyinAcoustics can provide you with answers and solutions. Leave us a comment and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about getting optimal soundproofing that satisfies without exceeding your budget.