CLD Tiles™

Control Vehicle Panel Vibration and Resonance

CLD Tiles™ control panel resonance. I designed them from the ground up to follow the universally accepted principles that govern every industrial application driven by science instead of marketing. You should be able to assume that the vibration damper you choose will perform well and will last for many lifetimes. With CLD Tiles you can.

1 - 9$2.65
10 - 39$2.45
40 + $2.25

Orders of 60 or more CLD Tiles™ include a free Marshalltown 2 inch Maple Roller. It will be added automatically to your shopping cart.

Control Vehicle Panel Vibration and Resonance

CLD Tiles™ are the Sound Deadener Showdown version of the ubiquitous "sound deadener" (more accurately "vibration damper") you've seen everywhere. CLD Tiles™ are the result of many years of testing, designed to hit the perfect balance between value and performance.  There's a "™" at the end because soon after I introduced this product in 2009, the name started appearing as a generic replacement for vibration damper and was even retrofitted to some competing products. Flattering, sort of.

Vibration dampers are meant to do only one thing well: control vibrations. CLD is Constrained Layer Damper. Vibrations in the panel enter the CLD Tile's adhesive layer and deform it. The adhesive is viscoelastic which means it returns to its normal state more slowly than it is deformed. Internal strains and strains between the adhesive layer and the aluminum constraining layer and substrate take the energy from the vibration and convert it into tiny amounts of heat.

What are we really talking about?

The video below shows a 12 inch square of 22 gauge steel suspended by the top corner and struck in the center of the side facing away from the camera with a xylophone mallet.  I then add a 6" square of CLD Tile™ (25% coverage) and strike it again. 

Note the difference in how long the sound is sustained after impact with and without CLD Tiles™

We don't want vehicle panels to vibrate. Vibrating objects are broadcasting sound at their resonant frequency and rattling against other objects. Resonance provides free transport for sound from one side of an obstacle to the other. 

Vehicle panels vibrate in response to energy they pick up from a variety of sources - sound, mechanical functions of the vehicle (RPM and Hz relate to each other quite nicely), air turbulence and more. We don't want the results of that vibration so we damp it. Enough CLD Tiles™ to cover 25% of the surface of the panel to be treated, weighted toward the center of the panel, will take care of it.

I just said 25% coverage is enough. Did someone tell you something else?

Just kidding, of course. I know it's difficult to come up with a plan in the face of the contradictory message out there. This market is a little less confusing than it was when I first discovered it in 2005, but not by much. 25% coverage with a high quality, purpose built vibration damper like SDS CLD Tiles™ is plenty to control resonance. The problem is that controlling vibrations alone is not enough to make a big difference in noise levels inside the vehicle.

That hasn't stopped a lot of people, including me originally, from trying. When I first got involved with aftermarket vehicle acoustical treatments, the prevailing wisdom was that all you needed was vibration damper. If you didn't get the results you wanted with one layer, keep adding layers until you get there.

It was widely believed that you could determine how much vibration damper you needed by tapping on the panel as you go - apply, tap, apply some more, tap ... two problems with this approach. The first is that adding weight to an object lowers its resonant frequency. Each layer adds enough weight to lower the RF a little bit - which is pleasing to our ears but means nothing when it comes to noise reduction. This factor more than any other guarantees you will use too much vibration damper using this "technique".

The second problem is obvious once you think about it. The layers of vibration damper cushion the impact of your knuckles or whatever you are tapping with. What you hear in response to your tap sounds better but is completely irrelevant to the task at hand.

Tap on a panel before you treat it to identify the most resonant areas. Devise a treatment plan targeting 25% coverage. Follow the plan and tap when you're done to hear how well 25% coverage with CLD Tiles™ did the job.

Sound Deadener Showdown CLD Tiles™ are more expensive than many (but not all) competing products. I am 100% confident that our CLD Tiles™ are marked up less than any other vibration damper on the market. How can both things be true?

CLD Tiles™ have an 8 mil aluminum constraining layer. This is the sweet spot for constrained layer dampers. You want as much constraining layer strength as possible. Thicker than 8 mils and you have to compromise the vibration damping qualities of the adhesive to prevent the foil from peeling the product off the substrate. Most inexpensive products have a facing that is a very thin layer of foil laminated in plastic. This is not a constraining layer - way to flexible. It's meant to protect flashing tape adhesive from weathering.

CLD Tiles™ use a very high quality butyl adhesive. The least expensive alternative use asphalt. Years ago that was the simple determinant of quality - asphalt bad, butyl good. Since then, several products have demonstrated that it's possible to formulate butyl adhesives that doesn't perform any better or last any longer than asphalt. Some of the butyl adhesives that perform very well as vibration dampers have really poor durability characteristics. The adhesive we use has been approved for use in new vehicles by one of the Big Three US car makers. 

There are many ways to make an inexpensive constrained layer damper or at least something that looks like one. There's still no way to make a constrained layer damper inexpensively that works well and will last and perform for the life of the vehicle. When you consider that Sound Deadener Showdown CLD Tiles™ are designed to accomplish their task with just 25% coverage of a panel and the product that looks more expensive to start is almost certainly going to cost less to use and require less work.

CLD Tiles™ are 6"x10".


Size 6" X 10" (152mm X 254mm)
Adhesive Butyl
Gross Thickness 2 mm (80 mils +- a few)
Foil Thickness 8 mils
Mass/Area 9.85 oz/ft² (3 kg/m2)
Heat Tolerance 400°F+ for 8 hours+
Adhesion Immediate (1 in², 5 lbs. @ 90°) 34.36 seconds
Adhesion after 96 hours (1 in², 5 lbs. @ 90°) 153.02 seconds

Install CLD Tiles™

Products Used

  • CLD Tiles™
  • Marshalltown 2 inch Maple Roller