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Thinsulate Acoustic Insulation


In the late 1990's, 3M launched an entirely new range of sound absorbing materials for the automotive sector. Developed using its intimate understanding of the principles of sound transmission and the very latest in advanced simulation and modelling technologies, 3M stated that its innovation, called Thinsulate™ Insulation will allow car makers to totally rethink their approach to acoustic absorption in many parts of the vehicle.

Emerging applications

Having equipped itself with the skills and tools to modify its material properties in response to specific industry demands, 3M™ has continued its search for new market sectors. The latest such sector has been boat building. European Manager for Thinsulate™ Acoustic Insulation Andrew Christie has been discussing this new sector now available for Thinsulate™, "The boat building sector has very different demands from automotive. They were traditionally using glass fibre materials to isolate engine rooms from living accommodation. These were heavy materials with much higher performance demand than you see in cars. We have developed a range of boat specific Thinsulate™ insulation products that deliver improved thermal and acoustic properties at much lower weight."

One UK luxury yacht designer has just adopted Thinsulate™ insulation in its latest craft, and managed to reduce weight by over half a tonne in the process - reducing fuel consumption and improving performance as a result.

Thinsulate™ insulation is also being applied in other sectors where its thermal and acoustic properties, combined with its low weight and bulk, are delivering important advantages. Among these are the insulation of ambulances and other emergency vehicles and of caravans and motor homes.

Today, the engineers at 3M are taking the knowledge of acoustic properties that they have developed during Thinsulate™ insulation's journey from gloves to engine rooms and applying it in entirely new ways. "The products that we are about to launch are our first acoustic materials that aren't based on a 3D non-woven fibre structure," says Christie. "They have been developed as a result of our investigations into the way different materials interact to absorb sound. We have found ways to greatly improve the absorption of certain materials at key frequencies. It will really help car makers and also boat builders with some difficult noise reduction challenges."

Thinsulate Thermal & Acoustic Insulation Video*

Captain Bill Pike of Power and Motor Yacht magazine Boards Pacific Mariners Special Edition 65, amazed by the noise reduction and thermal benefits,  Bill shows some possible uses of Thinsulate in the marine industry from reduced wave slap to improved Thermal control in the air conditioning system.

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Thinsulate Acoustic Insulation