Whether you want to save fuel or reduce greenhouse gases, reducing weight in vehicles contributes significantly to both goals. Together with their suppliers, many OEMs are looking for solutions to help them meet their weight reduction targets. The focus here is often on replacing conventional steel with lightweight materials such as composites, plastics or aluminum.
However, other areas such as absorbing and damping also offer significant savings potential. There are a number of components both inside and outside cars that can be used to insulate against annoying noise. Replacing the cotton shoddy frequently used for such vehicle parts with a lighter noise absorption material enables impressive weight advantages.
3M™ Thinsulate™ Acoustic Insulation provides an interesting weight-saving alternative to cotton shoddy. Consisting of mold, mildew and moisture resistant polypropylene microfibers and polyester stable fibers, the non-woven material offers excellent acoustic absorption and up to 50% weight reduction over traditional insulation.
The excellent compression recovery of this material means it can fill gaps and irregular spaces for extremely consistent noise absorption. The wide variety of products in the portfolio make 3M Thinsulate a versatile choice for weight reducing sound insulation – including applications near the engine. Learn more:
The increased use of thinner, lightweight materials in vehicle design can also mean more noise is generated in the vehicle than when using traditional materials. Thin lightweight materials sometimes generate more noise than comparable conventional materials. 3M absorption material simplifies noise reduction in accordance with manufacturer requirements, since it insulates very effectively.
In addition to using acoustic insulation to absorb noises in the vehicle, 3M offers special films for the damping of vibrations and noises in lightweight materials. Using these materials can also save weight. They are optimized for materials such as aluminum, carbon and magnesium and are lighter than most comparable products on the market. The foils are also extremely thin and can be applied to flat or curved surfaces, panels and plastic components. This makes them very versatile and allows for further weight savings in the overall design of a car. An example product is 3M™ Vibration Control Tape CL1151 damping foil, consisting of a viscoelastic acrylate adhesive and an aluminum foil.