Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) Barrier is heavy, yet flexible, and thin making it a perfect soundproofing material for particular kinds of applications. MLV is a flexible product that is heavy in weight and it prevents sound from entering. For most modern products the weight is due to calcium silicate, although barium sulfate is also still in use. MLV is a limp-mass material used for blocking unwanted noise and reducing sound transmission without reduction in space. It is made of non-reinforced vinyl at high temperature with no lead fillers. This material has a weight equivalent to lead, yet is safe and can be cut easily with a utility knife. Initially MLV was developed as a non-toxic option to lead lined materials. In industrial settings they prevent sound. Then through marketing other possible uses for the material were found. Presently there are many products sold under the MLV name.
Mass Loaded Vinyl Barrier controls noise, reduces sound transmission, improves communications, and improves health and safety. When you need to effectively control noise and sound transmission, Mass Loaded Vinyl Noise Barrier can be used to build soundproof and noise barriers walls. MLV is mainly used for soundproofing applications due to its thinness and flexibility. It can be screwed, stapled, nailed, or hung (using grommets and reinforcement). A 1/8 inch thick MLV sheet has a weight of about 1 pound per square foot. It’s twice more than the mass of a drywall of equal thickness. For your soundproofing project if space is important, MLV offers a solution. For soundproofing mass, drywall is the classic source. It comes in rigid panels. In contrast MLV is useful in situations where a flexible sound barrier is needed such as a wrapper around pipes.
The applications of Mass Loaded Vinyl Barrier are to create a sound screen around noisy machinery, turn dish washers into stealth washers, block vibrations in vehicles and road noise, improve sound and increase bass in your car, making HVAC duct work and pipes soundproof, eliminate leakage of noise around windows and doors in a home studio, and add a sound deadening layer above suspended ceilings.
In purchasing mass loaded vinyl, you have to mainly decide what thickness you want. The commonly used thicknesses are 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch. Sheets of 1/16 inch are also available. The thickness you choose will be dependent on your soundproofing requirements, space limitations, and your budget. A variety of additional options are offered by few MLV suppliers like color selection, peel-and-stick adhesive backing, addition of a foam layer, and enhanced flexibility. Many suppliers offer generic MLV which is cheaper than the name-brand products, and still providing the main elements making mass loaded vinyl barrier a good choice for the right applications.
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