Dynamat Alternativesby Scarlett Gauthier
When road noise becomes an annoyance to drivers, many use Dynamat to soundproof their vehicle. Dynamat is a brand-name product, sold in bulk packages and project kits, that is used to alleviate sound problems. The mats insulate car panels and can be placed in areas such as the trunk and doors to reduce the vibrations caused by external noise and other sources. When installed in large amounts, Dynamat can be expensive; in other cases it may simply not be the right choice for the car. However, there are several alternatives for around the same price, and even some others that are much more cost-effective.
The most common alternative to Dynamat is a product called RoadBlockR. Originally designed for jet aircrafts and heavy trucks, it is an industrial sound deadener. Like Dynamat, RoadBlockR consists of self-sticking panels of aluminum-faced butyl material. With a peel-and-place backing, the product is simple to install, and unlike many other methods, no spray adhesives are required, resulting in no messes. The mats itself are thin and can easily fit into smaller areas where thicker mats would not. Compared with similar products such as Dynamat, it can be much more cost-effective.
Foam pads and sprays are often used to soundproof cars as a cheaper alternative to Dynamat. Foam pads resemble Dynamat in the sense that they are essentially mats laid down over panels to reduce and absorb vibration. To fill hard-to-reach crevices that cannot be covered with foam pads, foam sprays are used. The spray will expand as it dries, covering the panels over which it is applied. One of the more expensive types of foam is Styrofoam (polystyrene foam) which can be purchased in a spray can. However, the fumes given off by Styrofoam are not environmentally friendly. A good alternative to Styrofoam is Great Stuff, which is often used in home construction.
A more money-saving alternative to Dynamat is Ice Guard, which is normally used as a weather guard for roofing material. In comparison with Dynamat, Ice Guard can be 80 percent less expensive when purchased in large quantities. Ice Guard uses an asphalt material for waterproofing. The only disadvantage to using Ice Guard is that the vehicle must be aired out for several days after installation. Charcoal powder or baking soda should be applied before the interior parts are reinstalled.
Insulation, like that used under carpets in houses, can be used for sound deadening. It is essentially a thick mat of fibers that absorbs sound. Although it is not as effective as the other methods and often needs to be combined with another method, this type of insulation adds some padding under the carpeting of the vehicle and provides good thermal insulation. The most common type is jute, but micro jute, a thinner version, is also recommended because it can be maneuvered more easily into cars. This type of carpeting is generally available at any carpeting store.
- photo_camera highway image by Ekaterina Sidorenko from Fotolia.com