quick video illustration of tractor with acoustic management solutions

Noise & Vibration

Acoustic management from design to delivery.

What Causes Noise?

A vibrating surface causes the adjacent air to vibrate creating sound waves/unwanted noise. Some typical sources of noise are: fans, motors, pumps, and the movement or friction between two materials. Common industry terms for these effects are Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) and Buzz, Squeak and Rattle (BSR).

Types of Noise

As the future of equipment operation design continues to evolve, sound becomes as important as appearance and functionality. Effectively managing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) without adding weight is a common challenge. There are several sources of noise in equipment operation whether it is a vehicle, electronic devices or home appliances. It is important to distinguish between structure-borne noise and air-borne noise.

  • icon of hammer hitting a hard surface with vibration emphasis
    Structure-borne noise

    Structure-borne sound is carried via the structure of the equipment. Vibration energy is generated and travels through the structure and materials it comes in contact with.

    Prevent the vibration which can originate from friction or impact, change the vibration mode of the structure or isolating the vibration from traveling from one part of the product to another. Introducing a low friction surface between parts that move against each other can prevent vibration that originates from friction. Attaching a damping material will result in vibration dissipation as the structure is no longer able to vibrate so easily and it is constrained and converted into heat. An isolator could be used to prevent vibration from spreading.

  • icon of telephone producing sound which hits a barrier and is reduced
    Air-Borne Noise

    Air-borne noise is transmitted by air resulting from the interaction of a vibrating surface generating sound waves.

    Noise absorbers, barriers and layers can be implemented to reduce air-borne noise. These materials are often foams or fabric materials that absorb sound energy and turn it into heat energy.

multiple washing machines
Solution Spotlight

Vibration damping tape as a constrained layer damping material. Double side adhesives and VHB provide viscoelastic layer between two surfaces while bonding them together.

Strategies to Mitigate Vibration and Sound

  • icon of headphones with sound wave

    Decoupling the source of vibration from the rest of the device (e.g., Bump On, springs, rubber, foam, UHMW, felt, flock, etc.).

  • Icon of sound being dampened

    Preventing movement with a viscous material to attenuate vibration (e.g., PSA tapes, foil tapes, Friction Shims, bitumen, etc.).

  • icon of sound being absorbed

    Trapping and reducing sound in an absorptive material (e.g., Thinsulate, insulation, foam, acoustic panels, etc.).

3M Solutions to Noise by Category

  • icon of appliance
  • Appliances

    Reduces noise from motors, pumps, rotating parts, water spray.


    • Damping
    • Isolation
    • Absorption
  • icon of speaker
  • Electronics + Speakers

    Isolates and reduces vibration from music to ensure accurate reproduction.


    • Damping
    • Isolation
  • icon of vehicle
  • Vehicle Construction

    Prevents vehicle skin from rubbing against each other, vibrating and isolates the panels from the frame.


    • Panel to frame
    • Vibration damping
    • Isolation
  • icon of architectural panels
  • Architectural Panels

    Reduces air-borne vibration and wind induced vibration. Allows the use of thinner materials saving weight and making installation easier.


    • Damping
  • icon of airplane
  • Aircraft

    Reduces air induced vibration, wind and engine noise.


    • Damping
    • Absorption
  • icon of medical device measuring heart beat
  • Medical Devices

    Appliances (damping, isolation & absorption), reduces noise from motors, pumps, rotating parts, water spray.


    • Isolation
    • Damping
  • icon of battery
  • Battery Attachment

    Provides drop shock resistance and vibration reduction.


    • Damping
  • icon of fan
  • Electrical Cabinets & Fans

    Prevent fan rattle and vibration by attachment with PSA.


    • Damping
    • Isolation
  • icon of trailer
  • Horse Trailer Construction

    Prevents sheet metal panels from rubbing against each other, vibrating and isolates the panels from the frame.


    • Frame to panel
    • Damping
    • Isolation
  • icon of vehicle
  • Electrical Vehicles

    Without an engine to cover up road noise and other sounds, it’s critical to manage other sources of noise.


    • Panel & door damping
    • Absorption
 Icons show many benefits of converter solutions

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