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Acoustic Materials for Hybrid Vehicles

Posted December 21, 2010 8:30 AM by Steve Melito

Thinsulate is a compact, lightweight material made by 3M and used in cold-weather clothing. A portmanteau of "thin insulation", it contains fine microfibers that trap more air in less space to protect the wearer from the cold. Since its introduction in 1979, Thinsulate has been used in boots, hats, gloves, jackets and pants. Now it will be used in hybrid vehicles, but not to keep the driver and passengers warm. Rather, special versions of Thinsulate will be used to absorb high-frequency sounds produced by electric motors and transmissions.

This is not the first automotive application for Thinsulate. In recent years, carmakers have used the specialty material to reduce the weight of door and instrument panels, headliners, pillars, and wheel wells. As Abs Master, head of 3M's European Automotive Acoustics Group explains, "integrating the material into vehicles is straightforward. Thinsulate comes die-cut with slits so that it folds and conforms easily around the contours of the vehicle."

When used in place of mixed-fiber mats and foams, Thinsulate can reduce acoustic material mass by up to 40%. As EV automakers like Honda and Toyota seek additional weight reductions to cut fuel consumption, will the U.S. auto industry choose Thinsulate, too?

Sources: Industry Today and 3M

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Guru
Engineering Fields - Instrumentation Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
Posts: 845
Good Answers: 28
#1

Re: Acoustic Materials for Hybrid Vehicles

12/23/2010 10:07 AM

Been a fan of the stuff for years in my various outdoor pursuits. Yet another 3M brainstorm. Bravo!

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