Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What is Mass Loaded Vinyl???

What exactly is mass loaded vinyl? This is a question that we get quite often from our novice soundproofing friends. Mass loaded vinyl or MLV as it is better known, is a processed vinyl material that is impregnated with barium salts and silica’s, that give it, the same sound blocking characteristics as lead sheeting. Lead to this day is the world’s best soundproof barrier material, however it is heavy and very awkward to work with. MLV on the other hand contains no lead, but offers that same and sometimes better soundproofing than lead sheeting, and is very easy to work with.
MLV is a reflective barrier, meaning that it has no absorptive qualities; it simply blocks or contains the sound and keeps it either inside of a room or prevents outside sounds from entering into the room. The advantage of MLV is that it contains no hazardous materials and in most cases is considered a class C building material. It will also act as a barrier no matter which side of the wall it is installed on. MLV used in conjunction with other soundproofing agents such as sound clips and furring channels, or even multiple layers of drywall which can prove to be a very effective soundproofing system.
MLV adds mass to any wall or ceiling that it is adhered to. The mass helps to block out a lot of the airborne noise (telephones, TV’s, stereo’s and voices). Keep in mind however, that MLV is not very effective on it’s own against impact noise (walking noise or foot fall noise from above). To combat impact noise, you will need a combination of MLV along with a ceiling or wall floated system such as Americlips (sound clips and furring channels) The sound clips system suspends the ceiling or wall and isolates it from the joist or stud structure which breaks the circuit or the path of the impact noise. Impact noise is structure borne noise and can only be stopped by isolating the structure from the newly installed ceiling or wallboard.
MLV is a multi purpose-soundproofing agent that can be used to soundproof a fence, an air conditioning compressor enclosure, studio walls and ceiling as well as many commercial and industrial applications.
Many retailers of MLV would like you to believe that they actually manufacture their own mass loaded vinyl. The truth is that there are only 3 to 4 manufacturers of MLV in the country and the majority of retailers purchase this product from one or more of these manufacturers.
Mass loaded vinyl is reasonably priced and is a great soundproofing agent when installed properly. It is used in professional recording studios, high-end home theaters, radio stations as well as a vast array of residential, industrial, and commercial applications.
When you purchase MLV from Soundproofing America, you are guaranteed to get the best and most effective product on the market today. We provide in-depth product information and expert installation instructions. Count on Soundproofing America for all of your soundproofing and Acoustical treatment needs.

As Always,

Bob Orther
Technical advisor
Call Toll free (877) 530-0139

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