Vinyl Floor Tiles for Case Damping

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Devonavar

hyperq
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:13 am
Location: Ithaca, New York, USA

Vinyl Floor Tiles for Case Damping

Post by hyperq » Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:07 pm

When I was at HomeDepot last week, I noticed the Vinyl Floor Tiles they are selling. These tiles are one foot square each, and have self-adhesive backing. There are many different kinds. What attracts me the most is one that is the thickest and heaviest. It weighs more than one pound per tile, and it has thick black core under the vinyl. The core looks like it is made of stone and tar. Boing, a light bulb turned on in my head: use this to dampen my SLK3000B.

After hearing so much about the SLK3000B on SPCR, I got one too. But I wasn’t that impressed. The sheet steel is thinner than my Aspire X-Navigator steel case, thus SLK3000B resonates more than my old case. So I was looking for something to dampen the case. However, I am not going to pay $80-$100 for the AcoustiPack. That costs way more than the $46 I paid for the case.

So I got 5 tiles and applied them to the inside of my case. They work like a charm. The resonance is gone! The panels sound so dead when I knock on them. The SLK3000B no longer feels like a tin can. Now it sounds much more solid when I knock on it.

The principle of reducing resonance is to put something heavy on the metal panel to make it difficult to vibrate. AcoustiPack works well because it is heavy. These Vinyl tiles are $1 each and weigh a ton too, and the self-adhesive backing sticks really well to the panels. This $5 case damping kit is great.

For $5, this is a no brainer.

Bluefront
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 5316
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 2:19 pm
Location: St Louis (county) Missouri USA

Post by Bluefront » Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:59 pm

I bought a few similar items at the local cheap carpet outlet.....carpet tiles. They are about 24" square, come in different colors, and have a very heavy vinyl backing.

This might work better than a solid vinyl floor tile. The carpet layer will provide an added measure of sound absorption. These things are about 3/8" thick......cost $1 ea.

hyperq
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:13 am
Location: Ithaca, New York, USA

Post by hyperq » Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:34 pm

Are the carpet tiles heavy? The main reason I got the Vinyl tiles with black core is that each one weighs more than one pound. The AcoustiPack Deluxe damping material has two layers, one dense layer to reduce low frequency resonance and one lightweight layer to absorb higher frequency sound. The vinyl tile serves as my dense layer. I originally planed to stick another layer of lightweight sound absorbing foam on top of the Vinyl layer. But as of now, I don’t have much high pitched noise after undervolting and Cool’n’Quieting both CPU and GPU.

I know I eventually will stick another layer of sound absorbing material on top, when my ears are no longer happy with the current level of quietness. (It is true that this quest for silence never ends.) How good are the carpet tiles at absorbing sound? Do you feel a big difference? I have seen people using corkboard, foam, and carpet. I am not sure which one is the most effective. At least I have found out that the Vinyl tiles with black core is very effective at reducing resonance. So one layer is done, one more layer to go.
Last edited by hyperq on Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Bluefront
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 5316
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 2:19 pm
Location: St Louis (county) Missouri USA

Post by Bluefront » Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:42 pm

Yeah they're heavy.....multiple layers of different material. Haven't had a use for them yet....

BrianE
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:39 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Post by BrianE » Wed Aug 31, 2005 9:09 pm

Ha, thanks for the ideas guys. :)

Funny enough I was in Home Depot just the other day examining the carpet underlay they had. I picked up one of those heavy floor tiles (not sure if it was self-adhesive though) and noted how heavy and stiff it was, but didn't think of any use for them at the time.

Now a couple days later I'm looking for something dirt cheap to dampen an equally cheap case with paper-thin sheetmetal (it's the "spare" computer with old parts moved out of another case).

hyperq
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:13 am
Location: Ithaca, New York, USA

Post by hyperq » Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:04 am

I am glad you like the idea too. =) Here are a few tips.

1) The door panels on my SLK3000B require some room near the rear to close properly. Don’t cover that part with tiles. However, the panels on your case might be different.

Image

Image


2) Measure and cut all the pieces first. Make sure they all fit on the panels well before peeling off the paper and sticking them to panels.

3) When cutting, you can put one tile on top another and use the edge of the top tile as a ruler. (My metal ruler moves a bit when placed on tiles.)

4) You don’t have to cut all the way through. I cut about half way through, then I carefully bend the tile until it breaks nicely along the cut edge.

5) Make sure the metal surfaces are clean. I wiped mine with rubbing alcohol (70% Isopropyl alcohol) before applying the tiles to them. You can get those from Target, Walmart, or any local drug store for $1 or $2.


The tiles I used are made by Armstrong, and the item number is A1538. The UPC code on the back of each tile is 42369-33345. The core in these tiles is black and looks like it is made of stone and tar. These tiles are about 1/8 inch thick. They are the thickest and heaviest ones in store.
Last edited by hyperq on Sun Sep 11, 2005 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

IsaacKuo
Posts: 1705
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2004 7:50 am
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Post by IsaacKuo » Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:33 am

I'm too cheap to use those $1 floor tiles for dampening a case. I am NOT, however, too cheap to use those $1 floor tiles for MAKING a case. :P

Single Fan Madness pt3

hyperq
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:13 am
Location: Ithaca, New York, USA

Post by hyperq » Thu Sep 01, 2005 5:07 pm

Durability and portability will be my concerns with the case made from Vinyl tiles. The tiles are not that rigid. If you don't plan to move the case or add /change PCI cards and drives, the case seems OK. But if you need to move the case some times, or add/replace PCI cards, I think a conventional ATX case will be far more practical.

BrianE
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:39 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Post by BrianE » Thu Sep 01, 2005 10:33 pm

Well now I'm a bit miffed. I don't know why I remembered them differently, but I dropped by HD today and those tiles I saw were the plain commercial grade type stuff. Sure it was 1/8" thick and made by Armstrong, but it wasn't as heavy as I recalled, and they weren't tar/bitumen/etc cored or self-adhesive.

I checked a couple other places and no one (so far) has such a thing.... must be a US Home Depot thing. :P

hyperq
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:13 am
Location: Ithaca, New York, USA

Post by hyperq » Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:52 am

The HomeDepot in my town put Vinyl tiles at several different sections in store, they are relatively close to each other though. The self-adhesive Vinyl tiles are in the largest section, which occupies almost an entire aisle. There are 5-6 of these black-cored tiles on display, and each has a different design pattern.

I don't see why your HomeDepot don't carry it while carrying other Armstrong tiles.

dawgpound6985
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:58 am
Location: California

Post by dawgpound6985 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:35 pm

what did you use to cut the tiles? i kinda want to do the same thing since its pretty cheap. hehe. :lol: but yeah, how much heavier is the case now? thanks.

hyperq
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:13 am
Location: Ithaca, New York, USA

Post by hyperq » Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:07 pm

I used a common utility knife I got from Walmart for less than $1.

The case is now at least 5 pounds heavier. Feels hefty and feels solid. =)

scruzbeachbum
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 11:15 am
Location: California

Post by scruzbeachbum » Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:56 am

Do you use a no-wax floor cleaner on your case now? :D

Cool, pragmatic solution....that still seems like a Martha Stewart TV segment.

ronrem
Posts: 1066
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:59 am
Location: Santa Cruz

Post by ronrem » Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:00 pm

Is Mop and Glo compatible with an Athlon system? :P

hyperq
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:13 am
Location: Ithaca, New York, USA

Post by hyperq » Sat Sep 17, 2005 3:16 am

Hehe, joke all you want, at least my computer case no longer has any resonance. This is called creativity. If you have a more effective solution, please share with us on SPCR. I will try your solution no matter how funny it sounds, as long as it is a better way to do things.

scruzbeachbum
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 11:15 am
Location: California

Post by scruzbeachbum » Sat Sep 17, 2005 8:28 am

hyperq wrote:Hehe, joke all you want, at least my computer case no longer has any resonance. This is called creativity. If you have a more effective solution, please share with us on SPCR. I will try your solution no matter how funny it sounds, as long as it is a better way to do things.
Refer back to my point about your solution being pragmatic. :)

Others on the list might have suggested you hire a team, do intense research on the resonance modes and then design and build an active noise cancellation system to solve the problem. You just went out to Home Depot and got some floor tiles. Thumbs up.

Myth!
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:30 am
Location: Beds, UK
Contact:

Post by Myth! » Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:46 am

I want a quiet PC but also a window, I've just bought some polycarbonate but was wondering if anyone had used a better see-through sound-dampening material?

BrianE
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:39 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Post by BrianE » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:21 pm

Myth! wrote:I want a quiet PC but also a window, I've just bought some polycarbonate but was wondering if anyone had used a better see-through sound-dampening material?
Sorry no, I haven't, but are you going to use it like double paned glass? I was thinking maybe you could "soft mount" a double layer of the stuff by fixing an extra inside pane with a thick bead of silicone sealant...

slipknottin
Posts: 235
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:55 pm

Post by slipknottin » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:50 pm

Myth! wrote:I want a quiet PC but also a window, I've just bought some polycarbonate but was wondering if anyone had used a better see-through sound-dampening material?
polycarbonate and acrylics are awesome sound-dampening materials on their own. Far superior to steel or aluminum.

Myth!
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:30 am
Location: Beds, UK
Contact:

Post by Myth! » Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:55 pm

thanks BrianE and slipnottin, I'll go ahead without worries then. the double-glazing idea is a good one mind....and can be added later on if necessary :idea:

Badger
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 8:57 am
Location: West Michigan, USA

Post by Badger » Sun Oct 09, 2005 3:09 pm

I can't find those tiles anywhere at www.homedepot.com

The cheapest tiles I'm seeing are $20 each. Maybe I'd have to go in store to find them? Maybe they were just clearance?

EDIT: I'm finding a lot for cheap ($0.58 and up) at Lowe's, some Armstrong. What thickness are you using?

matva
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 7:16 am
Location: South Florida

Post by matva » Sun Oct 09, 2005 4:26 pm

I am also interested. The acousti pads are not an option. Way too much $$$ for my taste.

Myth!
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:30 am
Location: Beds, UK
Contact:

Post by Myth! » Mon Oct 10, 2005 4:18 am

i hope this isn't too far off topic. Anyone come up with a material to stuff blow-holes with (or a system of doing it) so that noise is damped but airflow isn't?
```______________
``/............................/
`/............................./
/_______________/
.\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

perhaps a foamy thing like this that can be rolled into a cylinder with the spikes pointing inwards and then inserted in the tube.

Or some kind of revolving door thing :wink:

BrianE
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:39 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Post by BrianE » Mon Oct 10, 2005 9:50 pm

Badger wrote:I can't find those tiles anywhere at www.homedepot.com

The cheapest tiles I'm seeing are $20 each. Maybe I'd have to go in store to find them? Maybe they were just clearance?

EDIT: I'm finding a lot for cheap ($0.58 and up) at Lowe's, some Armstrong. What thickness are you using?
I think you've got to be looking at whole boxes of tiles at that price. Even up here they're $0.85 each or less.

NARC
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2004 2:07 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD, USA
Contact:

Post by NARC » Tue Oct 11, 2005 6:54 am

You can't trust Home Depot's website to show you anything worthwhile. The website does not track what they have in the store at all.

matva
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 7:16 am
Location: South Florida

Post by matva » Thu Oct 13, 2005 4:36 am

For any doubters, i tried it and it works! For $5, it is indeed a no brainer. May not be as effective as some of those acousti products, but it also doesn't cost a small fortune. I'd post pics, but i don't have a digicam. I'll see if i can find one.

edit: now i'd like to find some lighter dampening material to line the inside of the case. I tried to find some at home depot, but i didn't have any luck. Any suggestions?

Myth!
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:30 am
Location: Beds, UK
Contact:

Post by Myth! » Thu Oct 13, 2005 1:01 pm

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article270-page1.html

Mutemat (not the plus stuff) might be the ticket

DanceMan
Posts: 287
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada

Re: Vinyl Floor Tiles for Case Damping

Post by DanceMan » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:58 pm

by fixing an extra inside pane with a thick bead of silicone sealant...
If you haven't used it before, glazing tape would be easier, permanent and very effective. It comes as a coil of black compound on a paper backing. My glazier brother in law showed me how to use it and it held a home made plexi skylight on my van leakfree for over a dozen years, parked outside year round. It's useful for far more than your sheet of acrylic and lasts forever, unlike the tube of silicone.

Myth!
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:30 am
Location: Beds, UK
Contact:

Re: Vinyl Floor Tiles for Case Damping

Post by Myth! » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:19 pm

ahh, glazing tape wasn't invented when that post was made :roll:

just kidding, nice revive though :wink:

CA_Steve
Moderator
Posts: 7470
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Vinyl Floor Tiles for Case Damping

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:47 pm

5 yr Lazarus. Excellent. :D

This was one of the first posts I read when I joined up.

Post Reply