US20060289231A1 - Acoustic absorber/barrier composite - Google Patents

Acoustic absorber/barrier composite Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060289231A1
US20060289231A1 US11168200 US16820005A US2006289231A1 US 20060289231 A1 US20060289231 A1 US 20060289231A1 US 11168200 US11168200 US 11168200 US 16820005 A US16820005 A US 16820005A US 2006289231 A1 US2006289231 A1 US 2006289231A1
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layer
acoustic
sheet material
thermoformable
sound absorbing
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Abandoned
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US11168200
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Joseph Priebe
Sherry Graham
Kenneth Kastner
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CONCEPT INDUSTRIES Inc
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CONCEPT INDUSTRIES Inc
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R13/00Elements for body-finishing, identifying, or decorating; Arrangements or adaptations for advertising purposes
    • B60R13/08Insulating elements, e.g. for sound insulation
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B27/00Layered products comprising a layer of synthetic resin
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B27/00Layered products comprising a layer of synthetic resin
    • B32B27/06Layered products comprising a layer of synthetic resin as the main or only constituent of a layer, which is next to another layer of the same or of a different material
    • B32B27/065Layered products comprising a layer of synthetic resin as the main or only constituent of a layer, which is next to another layer of the same or of a different material of foam
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B27/00Layered products comprising a layer of synthetic resin
    • B32B27/12Layered products comprising a layer of synthetic resin next to a fibrous or filamentary layer
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B3/00Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form
    • B32B3/26Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by a particular shape of the outline of the cross-section of a continuous layer; characterised by a layer with cavities or internal voids ; characterised by an apertured layer
    • B32B3/266Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by a particular shape of the outline of the cross-section of a continuous layer; characterised by a layer with cavities or internal voids ; characterised by an apertured layer characterised by an apertured layer, the apertures going through the whole thickness of the layer, e.g. expanded metal, perforated layer, slit layer regular cells B32B3/12
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B5/00Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts
    • B32B5/22Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts characterised by the presence of two or more layers which are next to each other and are fibrous, filamentary, formed of particles or foamed
    • B32B5/24Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts characterised by the presence of two or more layers which are next to each other and are fibrous, filamentary, formed of particles or foamed one layer being a fibrous or filamentary layer
    • B32B5/245Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts characterised by the presence of two or more layers which are next to each other and are fibrous, filamentary, formed of particles or foamed one layer being a fibrous or filamentary layer another layer next to it being a foam layer
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B5/00Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts
    • B32B5/22Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts characterised by the presence of two or more layers which are next to each other and are fibrous, filamentary, formed of particles or foamed
    • B32B5/24Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts characterised by the presence of two or more layers which are next to each other and are fibrous, filamentary, formed of particles or foamed one layer being a fibrous or filamentary layer
    • B32B5/26Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts characterised by the presence of two or more layers which are next to each other and are fibrous, filamentary, formed of particles or foamed one layer being a fibrous or filamentary layer another layer next to it also being fibrous or filamentary
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B5/00Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts
    • B32B5/22Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts characterised by the presence of two or more layers which are next to each other and are fibrous, filamentary, formed of particles or foamed
    • B32B5/32Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts characterised by the presence of two or more layers which are next to each other and are fibrous, filamentary, formed of particles or foamed at least two layers being foamed and next to each other
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10KSOUND-PRODUCING DEVICES; METHODS OR DEVICES FOR PROTECTING AGAINST, OR FOR DAMPING, NOISE OR OTHER ACOUSTIC WAVES IN GENERAL; ACOUSTICS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G10K11/00Methods or devices for transmitting, conducting or directing sound in general; Methods or devices for protecting against, or for damping, noise or other acoustic waves in general
    • G10K11/16Methods or devices for protecting against, or for damping, noise or other acoustic waves in general
    • G10K11/162Selection of materials
    • G10K11/168Plural layers of different materials, e.g. sandwiches
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2260/00Impregnation or embedding of a layer; Bonding a fibrous, filamentary or particulate layer by using a binder
    • B32B2260/02Composition of the impregnated, bonded or embedded layer
    • B32B2260/021Fibrous or filamentary layer
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2260/00Impregnation or embedding of a layer; Bonding a fibrous, filamentary or particulate layer by using a binder
    • B32B2260/04Impregnation material
    • B32B2260/046Synthetic resin
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2262/00Composition of fibres which form a fibrous or filamentary layer or are present as additives
    • B32B2262/02Synthetic macromolecular fibres
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2262/00Composition of fibres which form a fibrous or filamentary layer or are present as additives
    • B32B2262/06Vegetal fibres
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2274/00Thermoplastic elastomer material
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2307/00Properties of the layers or laminate
    • B32B2307/10Properties of the layers or laminate having particular acoustical properties
    • B32B2307/102Insulating
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2307/00Properties of the layers or laminate
    • B32B2307/70Other properties
    • B32B2307/718Weight, e.g. weight per square meter
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2605/00Vehicles

Abstract

A thermoformable acoustic sheet material that is lightweight and provides excellent sound attenuation over a wide range of frequencies includes a combination of sound attenuating materials, including an acoustic barrier having a relatively high density, a thermoformable sound absorbing layer having a relatively low density, a substantially air-impermeable layer between the barrier and the sound absorbing layer, and an acoustic performance enhancing scrim or perforated thermoplastic film on the opposite side of the sound absorbing layer. The combination is useful for preparing contoured acoustic treatments for reducing sound transmission from the engine compartment of a vehicle to the passenger compartment of the vehicle.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to high performance lightweight acoustic attenuation materials, and more particularly to multilayered acoustic attenuation materials that are thermoformable.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • It is generally desirable to reduce the level of noise within a vehicle passenger compartment. External noises, such as road noise, engine noise, vibrations, etc., as well as noises emanating from within the passenger compartment, may be attenuated through the use of various acoustical materials. The attenuation of external noise is conventionally referred to as sound transmission loss (STL). The attenuation of internal noise is conventionally referred to as sound absorption. The acoustic impedance of a material is defined as material density times acoustic velocity, and is expressed in units of Rayls (Newton-seconds/meter3). Acoustic impedance defines how easy it is for air to move through a material. Thus, for fibrous materials, acoustic impedance depends upon the density of the fibrous material and fiber diameter. Generally, the heavier the blanket and the finer the fibers, the higher the acoustic impedance. Thicker layers typically have more acoustic impedance than thin layers.
  • Conventional acoustic treatments for reducing sound transmission at a vehicle firewall which separates the passenger compartment from an engine compartment consist of an acoustic absorber such as an open-cell polyurethane foam or a resinated fiber pad which faces the firewall, and a barrier sheet such as a heavily filled thermoplastic material.
  • Thermoformable acoustic insulating and/or sound absorbing sheet materials are employed in substantially all mass produced motorized vehicles having a weather-tight passenger compartment. Thermoformability refers to the ability of the sheet material to be shaped in a molding tool under application of heat and, optionally, pressure, and subsequently retain the molded shape. It is highly desirable that the thermoformable acoustic sheet material used for molding sound insulating and/or sound absorbing panels for motorized vehicle applications has properties that impart resilience and flexibility to the finished panels. This combination of thermoformability, flexibility and resilience or shape-retention facilitates economical installation of the acoustic panel into the vehicle by allowing the panel to be bent during installation, such as to fit the panel into an obstructed space, without damaging or permanently deforming the shape of the panel, and by ensuring that the panel will conform as precisely as needed to the contours of a vehicle component without extensive laborious manipulation of the panel.
  • In addition to thermoformability, flexibility and resilience, all of which are important for achieving economical manufacturing and/or installation of the acoustic panel, there is a need for progressively thinner acoustic panels in order to maximize space availability for other vehicle components, passengers and cargo. Further, there is also a progressive need for lighter weight acoustic panels in order to minimize fuel consumption.
  • While known thermoformable acoustic sheet materials have performed adequately, there nevertheless is a desire to develop improved thermoformable, acoustic attenuation sheet materials that achieve a better combination of low cost, lightweight, reduced thickness, and outstanding acoustic attenuation properties.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention is directed to lightweight, thermoformable, multilayered sheet materials that incorporate a combination of sound attenuating materials that perform various sound attenuating functions and provide excellent sound attenuation over a wide range of frequencies. The multilayered sheet materials can also be easily shaped into desired contours by application of heat, and optionally pressure, in a contoured tool cavity to provide acoustic panels that conform to various applications.
  • The acoustic multilayered sheet materials of this invention include an acoustic barrier layer having a relatively high density, a thermoformable sound absorbing layer having a relatively low density, an airflow control layer that is essentially air impermeable, and an acoustic performance enhancement layer. The thermoformable sound absorbing layer is disposed between the airflow control layer and the acoustic performance enhancement layer, and the airflow control layer is disposed between the sound absorbing layer and the acoustic barrier layer. The sheet materials of this invention may include additional layers on either side of and/or between any of the disclosed barrier, sound absorbing, airflow control, and/or acoustic performance enhancement layers.
  • The acoustic multilayered sheet materials of this invention are useful for preparing contoured sound attenuating panels that conform with and are attached to the metal wall separating the engine component from the passenger compartment of a typical automobile. In a particular aspect of the invention the acoustic multilayered sheet material is installed with the barrier layer directly adjacent to the metal wall.
  • These and other features, advantages and objects of the present invention will be further understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art by reference to the following specification, the claims and the appended drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic cross section of an embodiment of the thermoformable acoustic sheet material of the invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic cross section of an alternative embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a schematic cross section of a motor vehicle employing the thermoformable acoustic sheet material of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional diagrammatic view of a vertically-lapped nonwoven fibrous mat that may be utilized in the thermoformable acoustic sheet materials of this invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • A thermoformable acoustic sheet material 10 comprises at least four layers, including an acoustic barrier or mass layer 12 or 22, a sound absorbing layer 14 or 24, at least one substantially impermeable layer 40, 45, or 28, and a performance enhancement layer 16 or 26, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Sound absorbing layer 14 or 24 is located between barrier layer 12 or 22 and acoustic performance enhancement layer 16 or 26. Substantially, impermeable layer 40, 45 and/or 28 is located between sound absorbing layer 14 or 24 and barrier layer 12 or 22.
  • Barrier layer 12 or 22 is a relatively high density, thin, flexible layer, selected from resonated cotton shoddy, mineral filled foamed plastic, and, most desirably, a dense fibrous layer.
  • Preferably, barrier layer 12 or 22 comprises a relatively high density layer of nonwoven fiber that has been compressed to form a sheet or layer having an area weight of from about 40 grams per square foot to about 200 grams per square foot and a thickness of from about 1 millimeter to about 15 millimeters, and more typically a thickness of from about 6 millimeters to about 8 millimeters. Barrier layer 12 or 22 may be vertically-lapped, air-laid, cross-laid, needle-punched or the like.
  • Alternatively, barrier layer 12 or 22 may comprise a mineral filled foamed plastic material. The mineral filler typically has a specific gravity of from about 4 to about 20. Suitable mineral fillers include barium sulfate and tungsten. Suitable thermoplastic materials that may be employed for fabricating a mineral filled foamed plastic barrier layer 12 or 22 include polyolefins such as polyethylene and polypropylene, rubber modified polyolefins, ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymers, and polyvinylchloride. The mineral filler may comprise up to about 70% of the weight of barrier layer 12 or 22, such that the resulting filled thermoplastic barrier layer 12 or 22 has a relatively high density, typically greater than 1 g/cc. Typically, a mineral filled foamed plastic barrier layer 12 or 22 has a thickness of from about 1 millimeter to about 15 millimeters, and more typically from about 6 millimeters to about 8 millimeters.
  • As a further alternative, barrier layer 12 or 22 can be fabricated of resonated cotton shoddy. Various resins may be employed in suitable amounts, including thermoplastic resins and/or thermosetting resins, to impart a suitable density and cohesiveness to the barrier layer.
  • Sound absorbing layer 14 or 24 is a relatively low density fibrous material that is typically lofted to achieve an area weight of from about 25 grams per square foot to about 100 grams per square foot for a thickness that is at least about 15 millimeters, more typically from about 20 to about 40 millimeters (prior to thermoforming of the multilayered composite), although greater thicknesses may be used for certain applications.
  • Sound absorbing layer 14 or 24 and barrier layer 12 or 22 may comprise generally any combination of synthetic fibers, natural fibers and/or mineral fibers. However, in order to impart thermoformability, sound absorbing layer 14 or 24 and/or barrier layer 12 or 22 will typically include a sufficient quantity of melt-fusible thermoplastic fibers that fuse with other thermoplastic fibers or adhesively bond upon thermal activation with natural or mineral fibers to form a three-dimensional fibrous network in which intersecting fibers are bonded with one another after the thermoforming process to impart resilient, flexible shape-retention characteristics. Alternatively, mineral, natural or a combination of mineral and natural fibers may be employed without any fusible thermoplastic fibers, provided that a heat activatable thermoplastic material is coated onto the fibers, distributed through the fibrous network, or otherwise applied to the fibrous material to impart appropriate thermoformability, flexibility, shape retention and resilience. Suitable synthetic thermoplastic fibers include fibers comprised of homopolymers and copolymers of polyester, nylon, polyethylene, polypropylene and blends of fibers formed from these polymers and copolymers. Particularly suitable are composite or bicomponent fibers having a relatively low melting binder component and a relatively higher melting strength component. Bicomponent fibers of this type are advantageous since the strength component imparts to and maintains adequate strength of the fiber while the bonding characteristics are imparted by the low temperature component. A variety of bicomponent fibers of this type are commercially available from various sources. One suitable fiber for use in the present invention is a sheath-core bicomponent construction wherein the core is formed of a relatively high melting polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polymer and the sheath comprises a PET copolymer having a lower melting temperature which exhibits thermoplastic adhesive and thermoformability properties when heated to a temperature of about 110 to 185° C. Examples of suitable natural fibers include kenaf, grasses, rice hulls, bagasse, cotton, jute, hemp, flax, bamboo, sisal, abaca and wood fibers. Examples of suitable mineral fibers include glass, ceramic and metal fibers. However, in order to provide a preferred combination of lightweight, efficient sound absorption, and appropriate thermoformability properties, it is desirable to utilize at least some synthetic thermoplastic fibers.
  • Although the thermoformable acoustic sheet material preferably includes sufficient melt-fusible or adhesive synthetic fibers to impart suitable thermoformability and shape retention properties, it is possible to achieve satisfactory thermoformability and shape retention properties for certain applications by incorporating only a very small percentage of adhesive synthetic fibers, or possibly none at all, by partially impregnating or coating the fibers with either a heat-fusible thermoplastic resin or a thermosettable resin (such as a thermosettable resin in which curing is initiated by application of heat).
  • It has been discovered that a highly efficient absorber layer 14 or 24 that is lightweight and relatively thin can be achieved by utilizing vertically-lapped synthetic fiber, natural fiber, mineral fiber or any combination of synthetic, natural, and mineral fiber. The vertically-lapped fibrous layer has been shown to provide improved sound absorption as compared with a conventional high loft material using the same fibers and same weight and/or density. A vertically-lapped fibrous layer or batt is a nonwoven fibrous layer or batt that has been repeatedly folded back and forth onto itself (i.e., pleated) to produce a vertically folded sheet material in which the fibers are predominantly or at least preferentially oriented with the length direction of the fibers being parallel with the thickness direction of the layer or batt. Vertically-lapped nonwoven materials are also referred to as variable compression fabric. Vertically-lapped materials may be produced by utilizing standard textile fiber blending equipment (if a mixture of fibers is used) and standard textile carding equipment to form a nonwoven web. The carded nonwoven web is then fed into a vertical lap machine which folds the web back onto itself to form a vertically-lapped or pleated structure. The vertical laps are preferably thermally bonded together, such as by using a flatbed conveyor convection oven. A vertically-lapped nonwoven fibrous mat that may be employed in the thermoformable sheet materials of this invention is shown in FIG. 4. The illustrated vertically-lapped nonwoven fibrous mat (used for absorbing layer 14) comprising a carded fiber web 52 that is repeatedly folded upon itself to form a multiplicity of adjacent vertical laps or pleats 54. This vertically-lapped structure may be utilized as the sound absorbing layer 14, 24 of the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. Vertically-lapped materials may also be employed in the barrier layer 12, 22.
  • Alternatively, a suitable sound absorbing layer 14 or 24 and/or barrier layer 12 or 22 may be fabricated from fibrous materials utilizing other techniques such as cross-lapping, thermobonding, needle-punching, air-laying, etc.
  • As another alternative, sound absorbing layer 14 may comprise a foam (e.g., foamed thermoplastic) having an area weight of about 25 to 100 grams per square foot and a thickness of about at least 15 millimeters.
  • Substantially impermeable layer 28, 40 and/or 45 is a relatively thin layer having a very low air-permeability. A substantially air-impermeable material, for purposes of this invention, generally has an airflow resistance of at least 4000 Rayls and preferably at least 5000 Rayls. Layer 28 can be fabricated from a sheet or film of thermoplastic material, or it can be formed as an integral surface part of barrier layer 12 and/or sound absorbing layer 14, such as by melting fibers at the surface of a fibrous or foamed plastic layer so that the thermoplastic material at the surface flows together to form a relatively thin, substantially continuous and substantially air-impermeable layer at the surface of barrier layer 12 and/or sound absorbing layer 14. Suitable polymer films include polyolefin films (e.g., polyethylene or polypropylene), polyethylene terephthalate films, etc. The substantially impermeable layer can be conveniently used for adhesively attaching barrier layer 22 and sound absorbing layer 24 (FIG. 2) together. This may be achieved by utilizing a polymer film 28 having a pressure sensitive adhesive disposed on each of the opposite sides of the film. Alternatively, polymer film 28 may be used as a hot melt adhesive for bonding layers 22 and 24 together. The primary function of polymer film layer 28 and integrally formed layers 40 and 45 is to enhance the acoustic properties of thermoformable acoustic sheet material 10 and 20. While there is not a precise upper or lower limit for thickness of polymer film 28, polymer film 28 typically has a thickness of from about 0.5 to 80 mils. Similarly, when a substantially air-impermeable layer 40 and/or 45 is formed on the surface of barrier 12 or sound absorbing material 14, layer 40 and/or layer 45 each have a thickness of from about 0.5 to about 80 mils and are substantially air-impermeable. However, it is possible to use thinner and/or thicker layers if desired. An example of a commercially available polymer film that may be employed is INTERGRAL™ 906 polyolefin multilayer adhesive film, which is an impermeable film available from the Dow Chemical Company. In this embodiment, layers 22 and 24 may each, independently comprise vertically-lapped, air-laid, cross-lapped, needle-punched, or other nonwoven fibrous arrangements. Alternatively, barrier layer 22 may comprise a mineral filled (e.g., barium sulfate filled) thermoplastic material, as described above.
  • Acoustic performance enhancement layer 16 is comprised of a relatively thin, lightweight, sheet of material having a relatively low air-permeability. Examples of suitable sheet materials that may be employed as an acoustic performance enhancement layer include various scrims, such as those comprised of spun-bonded thermoplastic filaments (e.g., polyethylene terephthalate filament scrims), and perforated polymer films (e.g., a perforated polyolefin film). A scrim is a relatively thin and durable woven or nonwoven fabric which may be comprised of synthetic or natural fibers. Suitable scrims and perforated polymer films typically have a thickness of from about 0.01 millimeters to about 4 millimeters, more typically from about 0.04 millimeters to about 0.5 millimeters, and an airflow resistance of at least about 500 Rayls.
  • A five-layer structure in accordance with the invention is shown in FIG. 1. In this embodiment, a relatively thin, substantially air-impermeable layer 40 is formed at the surface of barrier layer 12 which faces sound absorbing layer 14, and another thin, substantially air-impermeable layer 45 is formed at the surface of sound absorbing layer 14 facing barrier layer 12. Layers 40 and 45 are placed in abutment, and are typically bonded together with an adhesive or fused together by application of heat. Acoustic sheet material 10 is completed by adding acoustic performance enhancing layer 16 (typically a scrim or perforated polymer film) to the side of sound absorbing layer 14 opposite layer 45. Layer 16 may be adhesively bonded or thermally fused to sound absorbing layer 14.
  • In an alternative embodiment, shown in FIG. 2, a four layer thermoformable acoustic sheet material in accordance with the invention is prepared by disposing an impermeable polymer film 28 between barrier layer 22 and sound absorbing layer 24, with acoustic enhancement layer 26 disposed on the side of layer 24 opposite the side adjacent layer 28.
  • The thermoformable acoustic sheet materials of this invention exhibit an outstanding sound attenuation property when utilized as an acoustic treatment for attenuating sound transmission through a metal firewall between the engine compartment and passenger compartment of a motor vehicle. In accordance with this aspect of the invention, a thermoformable acoustic sheet material of the invention is appropriately formed or shaped to conform with the contours of a metal firewall 36 separating an engine compartment 34 from a passenger compartment 32 of a motor vehicle 30 (FIG. 3). The shaped acoustic material 10/20 can be positioned adjacent firewall 36, with either acoustic barrier side 12 or 22 facing and abutting firewall 36, or with acoustic enhancement performance layer 16 or 26 facing and abutting firewall 36.
  • The above description is considered that of the preferred embodiments only. Modifications of the invention will occur to those skilled in the art and to those who make or use the invention. Therefore, it is understood that the embodiments shown in the drawings and described above are merely for illustrative purposes and not intended to limit the scope of the invention, which is defined by the following claims as interpreted according to the principles of patent law, including the doctrine of equivalents.

Claims (19)

  1. 1. A thermoformable acoustic sheet material comprising:
    an acoustic barrier layer having an area weight of at least about 40 grams per square foot and a thickness of from about 1 to about 15 millimeters;
    a sound absorbing layer having an area weight of from about 25 grams per square foot to about 100 grams per square foot and a thickness of at least about 15 millimeters;
    a substantially impermeable layer having a thickness of from about 0.5 mils to about 80 mils disposed between the acoustic barrier layer and the sound absorbing layer; and
    an acoustic performance enhancement layer having a thickness of from about 0.01 millimeters to about 4 millimeters, and an airflow resistance of at least about 500 Rayls, the sound absorbing layer being disposed between the airflow control layer and the acoustic performance enhancement layer.
  2. 2. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the acoustic barrier layer is a fibrous mat.
  3. 3. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the acoustic barrier layer is a mineral filled foamed plastic.
  4. 4. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the acoustic barrier layer is a resin impregnated cotton shoddy material.
  5. 5. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 2, wherein the acoustic barrier is a vertically-lapped fibrous mat.
  6. 6. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the sound absorbing layer is a foamed thermoplastic material.
  7. 7. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the sound absorbing layer is a vertically-lapped fibrous mat.
  8. 8. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the substantially impermeable layer is a thermoplastic sheet.
  9. 9. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the substantially impermeable layer is integral with the acoustic barrier layer.
  10. 10. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the substantially impermeable layer is integral with the sound absorbing layer.
  11. 11. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, further comprising a second substantially impermeable layer adjacent the other substantially impermeable layer, wherein one of the substantially impermeable layers is integral with the acoustic barrier layer, and the other substantially impermeable layer is integral with the acoustic barrier layer.
  12. 12. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the substantially impermeable layer has an airflow resistance of at least 4000 Rayls.
  13. 13. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the acoustic performance enhancement layer is a scrim fabric.
  14. 14. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the acoustic performance enhancement layer is a perforated thermoplastic film.
  15. 15. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the acoustic barrier layer is a fibrous mat comprised of a blend of synthetic fibers and natural fibers.
  16. 16. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the acoustic barrier is a fibrous mat comprised of natural fibers, mineral fibers, or a combination of natural and mineral fibers that are impregnated or coated with a heat-fusible thermoplastic resin or a thermosettable resin.
  17. 17. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the sound absorbing layer is a fibrous mat comprised of a blend of synthetic fibers and natural fibers.
  18. 18. The thermoformable acoustic sheet material of claim 1, wherein the sound absorbing layer is a fibrous mat comprised of natural fibers, mineral fibers, or a combination of natural and mineral fibers that are impregnated or coated with a heat-fusible thermoplastic resin or a thermosettable resin.
  19. 19. A motor vehicle having a passenger compartment separated from an engine compartment by a metal wall, and having a thermoformable acoustic sheet material disposed adjacent the metal wall, wherein the thermoformable acoustic sheet material comprises:
    an acoustic barrier layer having an area weight of at least about 40 grams per square foot and a thickness of from about 1 to about 15 millimeters;
    a sound absorbing layer having an area weight of from about 25 grams per square foot to about 100 grams per square foot and a thickness of at least about 15 millimeters;
    a substantially impermeable layer having a thickness of from about 0.5 mil to about 80 mils disposed between the acoustic barrier layer and the sound absorbing layer; and
    an acoustic performance enhancement layer having a thickness of from about 0.01 millimeters to about 4 millimeters, and an airflow resistance of at least about 500 Rayls, the sound absorbing layer being disposed between the airflow control layer and the acoustic performance enhancement layer.
US11168200 2005-06-28 2005-06-28 Acoustic absorber/barrier composite Abandoned US20060289231A1 (en)

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