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We live in an increasingly noisy world. Besides the obvious effects on hearing loss, excessive noise levels contribute to hypertension, high-stress, tinnitus, and sleep disturbances.  Modern transportation methods, especially aircraft, are on a mission to quiet the noise. In addition to the roar of the jet engines, other sources of noise in the aircraft cabin include the air conditioning system, peripheral equipment, vibration, as well as the inevitable wind noise. The noise level in the aircraft cabin at takeoff and landing can reach as high as 105 decibels (dB) and 85dB at cruising altitudes. Noise levels higher than 90 dB, maintained for eight hours or more can cause permanent hearing loss, not to mention being a major source of stress in an environment where creating and maintaining a calm environment is paramount not only to passenger satisfaction, but also to flight safety. It is no wonder that noise abatement is a growing area of focus and concern in the manufacture of modern aircraft.

Some of the noise can be reduced during the design phase where the engineering team relies on the adoption of innovative technical solutions to address other sources for high noise levels. But of course, the balancing act is always between performance and weight. While heavier materials may be more effective in decreasing noise levels, increased weight means increased fuel usage and therefore increased cost.  Lighter weight composite materials adopted for use in aerospace assemblies create lighter, more fuel efficient aircraft, but some of these materials actually contribute to the increased noise problem. Unfortunately, these composite materials vibrate more and transmit acoustic energy to a higher degree than aluminum.

The solution requires a combination of vibration absorption and sound-dampening materials. Dampening materials are applied to the flooring and panels, and are also used on the inside of sidewalls as well as any overhead composite materials that may reflect and amplify noise. Additionally, acoustic dampening materials are typically applied to the areas inside of the fuselage skin that are prone to vibration.

High bond, pressure sensitive adhesive tapes provide an easy solution to attach and secure noise abatement materials. The bonding formulas used are engineered for secure and tight bonds that withstand vibration, temperature fluctuation and other flight conditions. Added benefits include cost efficiency (savings gained from reduced time, cost, and weight)  and easy application. The adhesive tapes are also flame retardant and fully compliant with applicable FAA regulations.

When deciding on a system for attaching noise abatement materials in an aircraft, on a new design or a retrofit, consider using adhesive tapes to achieve maximum efficiency.

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