Understanding Damping

By now you should be familiar with Green Glue damping compound and the incredible effects it can have on any soundproofing project. The next question people ask after learning about Green Glue, however, is usually this: “What is damping?”

Understanding exactly what damping really means is crucial to your success as it pertains to soundproofing. Damping is, in short, the length of time it will take for an object to dissipate energy trying to pass through it – in this case, sound energy. The faster the energy is dissipated the lower your odds of actually hearing a sound as it attempts to pass through.

Damping results are usually split into four main categories, each with its own factor. They are as follows:

  • Excellent (.6)
  • Good (.10)
  • Poor (.005)
  • Extremely Poor (.006)

The damping level you achieve after completing a soundproofing project is controlled by the type of soundproofing materials you use. Older and less advanced soundproofing materials were actually effective but never got past a “good” rating when it came to damping. Green Glue, which is a newer and more advanced product, always receives an “excellent” rating. The reason this happens is because Green Glue is simply able to more quickly break up the sound energy when it is hit.

Another reason why Green Glue works so well is because it is visoelastic. Visoelastic materials are springy (or elastic) and viscious (or thick). Visoelastic materials usually fall into two categories: extensional or constrained.

Soundproofing projects using extensional materials are usually not construction projects. The reason is because extensional damping materials are laid on top of a surface, usually those that are flexible and can be bent easily. Extensional materials don’t work well on rigid surfaces.

Constrained damping products, on the other hand, are always sandwiched between two rigid layers. Green Glue is a constrained damping material which is why it is often used in construction projects. The materials, like drywall and studs, are thick, rigid, and will not move.

If you have completed soundproofing projects in the past with other materials we urge you to try Green Glue this time. As soon as you finish the project you’ll immediately notice the difference between old school materials and the more advanced damping compounds – and you may never want to switch back!

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