Silence is the Affordable Luxury

Silence is the Affordable Luxury

Car makers have known it for years…car noise influences consumer perception of vehicle quality. For consumers silence may feel like a luxury. But, for automotive manufacturers it is increasingly becoming a necessity.

Silence has been golden…literally

In a US News and World Report they ranked the 12 quietest cars on the market. But, if a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Tesla Model S or Range Rover is not in your budget, what are your options? While big ticket purchases provide the level of acoustic comfort and perception of quality consumers want; the challenge remains on more affordable vehicles.

Will advanced engineering technologies be scaled and adapted for lower cost models? The industry certainly seems to be headed in that direction. It’s a slow process that will take time. But, what if existing materials and processes available now could be used to dampen sound?

“[Noise, vibration, and harshness] performance immediately and directly influences our customers’ perception of vehicle quality and value,” –Andrea Martin Honda

Lighter and Quieter

Lightweighting and noise reduction are not incompatible. Raw material and material processing advances give car makers and consumers increased performance with a cost-neutral (or close) impact. New compound variations on materials like EPDM can offer the best of both worlds. Strong sound insulative properties with a much lower density of around 0.5-0.6.

Silence is (becoming) the Affordable Luxury

It’s not just EPDM, expandable microspheres enable the use of a number of materials that were considered optimal for silence but incompatible with lightweighting goals. In fact, they already are, you just may not be aware of it.  Luxury models have well…the luxury to incorporate advanced paint sealers and acoustic glass under the price umbrella of expensive vehicles. But, lower priced models require a more creative approach to solve the noise issues that are becoming more noticeable.

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Summary

TitleSilence is the Affordable Luxury
DescriptionLow to mid range frequency noise contributes to driver fatigue. High frequency sound can interfere with conversation. As engine noise declines, other sounds that were never before heard are suddenly now AUDIBLE. But there’s affordable technology emerging in the automotive market. With it, acoustic comfort in automobiles may be the last affordable driving luxury.
Ray Anderson

Ray Anderson

Kureha America | Advanced Materials Manager | Piezoelectric Film and Expandable Polymer Microspheres | North and South America. NY Office Phone: (502) 883-6097

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