Soundproofing 101: Damping

Green Glue is by far one of our favorite soundproofing products. We don’t mean to be biased but it’s simply the most effective and we feel it deserves a ton of recognition. What many people don’t realize, however, is that Green Glue is what is known as a damping compound. Damping compounds are very versatile and have a ton of benefits so we want to make sure you understand exactly what damping is and how it works.

Damping is, in short, the length of time it takes for sound energy (in this case) to be dissipated by an object it hits – how long it takes to break apart and disappear. The faster you can dissipate sound energy the less likely it is the sound will make it through to the area you want to remain quiet.

Damping is usually categorized using four different levels. They are:

  • Extremely Poor
  • Poor
  • Good
  • Excellent

The construction of the building you are working with plus the soundproofing materials you choose to use will work together to determine the level of damping you are able to achieve and maintain. Older damping compounds were very effective but most never got a damping level better than “good.” Green Glue, on the other hand, has always earned an “excellent” damping rating. The reason? Green Glue simply dissipates sound energy faster.

Green Glue is also what is known as a visoelastic material. Visoelastic materials tend to be springy (or elastic) and thick (or viscious) and this element makes Green Glue even more effective as a damping compound. Visoelastic materials are usually either constrained or extensional.

Constrained damping materials are sandwiched between two dense or rigid layers of material. Green Glue is used for constrained damping. This type of material us used on surfaces that don’t move – like walls within buildings.

Extensional damping materials are used on surfaces that are movable or flexible. They’re simply applied to the surface instead of in between layers of another material but can’t be used to soundproof rigid construction projects.

Give Green Glue a try if you haven’t already. Once you start using effective damping products in your soundproofing projects you’ll see your STC levels begin to skyrocket – and you’ll hear a lot less unwanted noise!

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