Developing a Better Mass Loaded Vinyl Acoustic Barrier

Mass loaded vinyl acoustic barriers are mainstays of residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Acoustical consultants are deeply familiar with this material and are likely to recommend it to their clients for a variety of projects. 

This article addresses the key areas where the majority of MLV products on the market today fall short and how these problems are being solved.

The Core Requirements for an Effective Acoustic Barrier

Noise transmission presents a significant challenge during both design and construction. In order to effectively disperse and mitigate noise and vibration, a layer of some material is necessary. In general, the more mass there is to this layer, the more effectively it mitigates sound transmission, requiring a solution that is both heavy and thin.

In addition to maintaining mass, the acoustic barrier material must be practical at every stage. The material must be suitable for installation. Some acoustic barrier applications require both flexibility and strength, to suit the installation to geometry and purpose.

Meeting These Challenges With Reinforced MLV

These primary requirements for an effective acoustic barrier can be met by a reinforced mass loaded vinyl acoustic barrier. MLV  is a widely used acoustic barrier material but can often tear and be damaged easily during installation. Fabric reinforced MLV delivers the same flexibility and dampening as traditional MLV while adding physical strength and dimensional stability.

The reinforcement allows the MLV to be dimensionally stable during wide swings in temperature and over long periods of use. Unreinforced MLV will hold up very poorly to large shifts in temperature, particularly in outdoor applications. Reinforcement makes MLV a viable solution for a wider range of outdoor and industrial uses.

The increased strength fabric reinforcement adds tear and puncture resistance. In many cases, added labor is used to add a secondary reinforcing fabric to keep the grommets from tearing the membrane.  A fabric-reinforced membrane eliminates the need for extra labor and adds less hassle to installations.  Fabric reinforced MLV is similarly puncture-resistant, providing a comprehensive solution for a flexible strong acoustic barrier.

XTRM PLY SoundSafe Reinforced MLV

E2 develops noise abatement solutions and is the manufacturer of the XTRM PLY SoundSafe acoustic barrier. This fabric reinforced mass loaded vinyl acoustic barrier delivers superior strength for easier and more versatile installation along with improved longevity. XTRM PLY SoundSafe is the only MLV to incorporate string reinforcement, providing the highest level of puncture and tear resistance.

With stock width available in 24”, 48”, and 54”, and custom widths up to 108”, XTRM PLY SoundSafe can suit any application. The polymer is UV resistant for outdoor applications, and there are Class A fire-rated versions available for applications where the need arises.

E2 strives to provide quality products while maintaining environmental sustainability throughout. The polymer content of XTRM PLY SoundSafe is derived from post-industrial recycled sources. This lets us keep over 300 tonnes of material from the landfill every year.

XTRM PLY SoundSafe acoustic barrier is a superior product from design to construction to final application. You’ll be able to offer a more comprehensive range of options for your clients, all while making installation easier on your end. We provide our customers with the highest quality materials to let them do what they do best.

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