Issue: Dec 2011


Popular Noise-Damping Quiet Steel Finds New Role in Reducing Vehicle Weight and Increasing Mileage



by Steve Barclay

Material Sciences Corporation (MSC) is well known throughout the transportation industry for Quiet Steel® - the constrained-layer NVH material that reduces or eliminates the need for conventional damping and sound absorbing materials. Today, as increasingly-stringent CAFE standards continue to present challenges to vehicle designers and manufacturers, MSC announces a significant increase in the application of Quiet Steel for cost effective vehicle weight reduction, resulting in higher mileage.

Traditional NVH techniques involve applying a variety of damping and sound absorbing materials to conventional steel or aluminum body structure components, such as dash panels, floor pans, wheel wells, and cowls. These techniques add mileage-robbing weight to the vehicle. By forming these same components with Quiet Steel, OEMs can eliminate or significantly reduce the size and mass of many of the add-on NVH materials typically used, as well as their extra cost and production time.

MSC reports that utilizing Quiet Steel, replacing conventional steel augmented by traditional NVH treatments, can reduce gross vehicle weight by over 14 lbs. This can also result in a cost saving per vehicle of $16.00. In addition, NVH targets are exceeded.

The benefits of Quiet Steel are four-fold:

-- Less content, to optimize packaging space constraints
-- Less cost, resulting in higher profit
-- Less noise, resulting in higher quality
-- Less weight, resulting in higher mileage Equally significant is Quiet Steel's damping and sound absorbing performance as compared to aluminum. Historically, OEMs have looked to aluminum as a material that can provide weight savings when replacing steel components, Aluminum has only 1/3 the density of steel, but can cost over four times as much, profile to profile. In addition, aluminum panels often require more applied NVH treatments than steel panels. Quiet Steel has proven to be far more cost effective than aluminum, meeting or exceeding weight reduction and NVH requirements, while offering savings of $24 to $38 per vehicle.

Quiet Steel consists of an engineered viscoelastic layer bonded between two layers of metal. A "tunable" formulation, Quiet Steel can attenuate specific frequencies for specific applications, eliminating the weight and cost of conventional treatments. OEMs can form, stamp, and weld Quiet Steel like any standard steel. And unlike steel treated with other damping materials, 100% of Quiet Steel can be easily recycled.

Because of Quiet Steel's application flexibility, and its well-established performance improvements in weight and NVH reduction, OEMs are expressing increased interest in utilizing Quiet Steel throughout their vehicles.

Facing continuing pressure to reduce weight and increase fuel economy, OEMs can realize significant advantages in meeting their performance and efficiency targets by using Quiet Steel. For more information, visit www.matsci.com or send an email to MassReduction@matsci.com.

About Material Sciences CorporationMaterial Sciences Corporation is a leading provider of material-based solutions for acoustical and coating applications. Founded in 1971, Material Sciences has expertise in quiet and coating technologies to solve noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), weight reduction, and temperature problems for customers in the automotive, appliance, bakeware, building products, furniture, lighting, consumer durables, electronics, and HVAC industries. With facilities in the United States, Europe and Asia and a network of partners on four continents, MSC offers customers unmatched technical leadership, continuous improvements in quality, and a diversified portfolio of products.


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