There are a lot of sound deadening, insulating and anti-rattle products for automotive applications. The list below (as of February, 2012) is the most comprehensive list of products organized by type.
Spray on Sound Deadened/Insulation
Spray on sound Deadeners and insulation are paint-on products that can be applied in a number of ways. LizardSkin is the most popular product of this type.
- Boom Mat (spray-on) – rattle can based spray-on insulation
- CoolCar– paint-on ceramic based insulation
- eDead (v3) -paint-on latex polymer
- eDead (v5) -paint-on ceramic microsphere polymer
- LizardSkin – paint-on ceramic based insulation
- NoiseKiller – paint-on insulation
- QuietCar – paint-on viscoelastic polymer based insulation
For similar products, search Google for: High temp epoxy mastic
Paint-on solutions are, for the most part, permanent solutions. If you ever think you may want to remove the product in the future, research the product you want to use to find out how the product can be removed.
Though not covered in this article, undercoatings and rust proofing products that are applied to the outside of the vehicle can also provide levels of insulation and sound deadening.
Roll based cut to fit Sound Deadened/Insulation
The most popular form of insulation, roll based cut to fit sound deadeners and insulation come in rolls and are typically cut with utility knives or scissors. Application can either be glued in place, peal-n-stick like scotch tape, or heated with a heat gun. Dynamat is the most popular product of this type. SecondSkin has the most dynamic array of options depending on how far you want to go in your sound deadening/insulation project.
- Audio Technix – butyl (possibly asphalt) rubber based insulation with 1 side of aluminum
- Boom Mat (Damping Material) – butyl rubber based insulation with 1 side of aluminum
- B-Quiet Ultimate (Brown Bread) – butyl rubber based insulation with 1 side of aluminum
- CSI Heat Shield – fiber tech padding based insulation with 2 sides of aluminum
- Dynamat (Dynamat Xtreme) – butyl rubber based insulation with 1 side of aluminum
- eDead (Butyl Mat) – butyl rubber based insulation with 1 side of aluminum
- eDead (TekLite) – closed cell neoprene based insulation
- EZ Cool Insulation – closed cell neoprene based insulation with 2 sides of aluminum
- FatMat – asphalt based insulation with 1 side of aluminum
- Hushmat Silencer Megabond – butyl rubber based insulation with 1 side of aluminum
- Hushmat ULTRA – visco-elastic polymer (butyl rubber) based insulation with 1 side of aluminum
- MegaMat – FatMat or FatMat Mega Mat, asphalt based insulation with 1 side of aluminum
- Milla Mat – FatMat, asphalt based insulation with 1 side of aluminum
- RAAMmat (RamMat) – butyl rubber based insulation with 1 side of aluminum
- Second Skin (Damp Pro) – butyl rubber based insulation with 1 side of aluminum
- Second Skin (Luxury Liner) – mass loaded vinyl based insulation
- Second Skin (Luxury Liner Pro) – mass loaded vinyl with layer closed cell neoprene
- Second Skin (Heat Wave) – natural fiber (better than jute) based insulation with 1 side of aluminum
- Second Skin (Overkill) – closed cell neoprene based insulation with 1 side of aluminum
- Thermo-Tec Cool-It Mat 146xx series – butyl rubber based insulation with 1 side aluminum
- Thermozite – environment friendly (post consumer recycled plastic bottles) based insulation with 1 or 2 sides of aluminum
- ZillaMat – asphalt based insulation with 1 side of aluminum (possibly re-branded FatMat)
Butyl based insulation is the most popular cut to fit insulation. It has ideal properties to deaden sound. Depending on the quality of the butyl used, it can give off a rubber smell (should go away over time) and can be difficult to remove as the butyl may eventually melt onto the surfaces of the vehicle.
Asphalt based insinuator is a mixture of the material used for roofing and possibly butyl rubber. It has ideal properties to deaden sound. The smell of this type of material can be an issue in excessive heat conditions (avoid installing in high-heat areas such as firewalls or on panels next to exhaust systems). Like butyl based insulation, can be difficult to remove if it melts onto the surfaces of the vehicle.
Closed cell neoprene based insulation is ideal for weight saving applications, can withstand higher temperatures and is resistant to mold and mildew. This material is not as good as butyl at hushing deep sounds but it does insulate and prevents vibrations well.
Mass loaded vinyl based insulation is ideal as a top layer over your insulation. Its application would be the equivalent of achieving luxury vehicle sound deadening. It is typically applied in conjunction with other products such as butyl and/or closed cell neoprene.
Fiber (jute) based insulation is ideal for factory applications. It can absorb moisture over time and should be avoided if mildew or moisture is a concern. Jute is typically packaged with pre-cut carpet and adds a soft padded feel to carpet.
Custom fiber based insulation are typically high temperature resistant and may be the only option for specific high heat applications such as under hoods and firewalls.
Note: Project Trans Am will be using a combination of EZ Cool closed cell neoprene and Thermo-Tec 146xx butyl insulation.
Recommended tools for installing insulation
- Scissors and/or utility knives
- Soap, water, paint thinner – for cleaning surfaces before application
- Carpenters square, straight edge, or other straight edge tools – for cutting straight lines from insulation rolls
- Aluminum face tape – for attaching cut seams of aluminum facing insulation
- Butyl face tape – for wrapping around parts that may rattle otherwise, such as hard plastic wire looms
- Velcro strips – can be cut for specific applications for preventing rattles
- Fleece tape – wrapping around wires for preventing rattles
- Rollers – For pressing-in adhesive backed insulation
- Heat Gun – for heating to shape and/or gluing butyl backed insulation
- 3M General Trim Adhesive (08088) – for gluing non-adhesive backed insulation to metal or plastic vinyl panels
Pre-cut Sound Deadened/Insulation
Typically this type of sound deadened/insulation is model specific. Most automotive retailers carry SoftSeal, Original Parts Group and/or OER brands.
- OER – pre-cut jute and pre-cut carpet with jute backing
- Original Parts Group – factory replacement padding and insulation.
- QuietRide – Dynamat brand pre-cut solutions for specific vehicles.
- SoffSeal – high temperature hood insulation
Note: Project Trans Am will be using pre-cut carpet with jute backing.
What the Factory Did
Most all automotive manufacturers use foam, cotton, fiber (jute) and/or vinyl insulation with butyl applied only in special locations or certain situations. Butyl in particular is usually used outside of the vehicle. A good example is butyl in 3/8″ thick rope form for insulating seams around firewall bolt-on items such as heater/AC ductwork. Auto manufacturers tend to use better insulation materials in high-end luxury vehicles. No manufacturer uses butyl backed aluminum sheets of insulation in any large scale.
Other Sound Deadening and Insulation Resources
- Sound Deadening Showdown – Gives advice on sound deadening and insulation solutions. Though it tries to be unbiased, the site does want you to purchase their products.
- Insulation and Sound Deadening at HotRodders.com – Good source for tips, links and documentation