Closed Cell vs Open Cell Acoustic Foam Insulation vs Panels

closed cell vs open cell acoustic foam insulation

Want to know the answer to these questions: What are closed-cell and open-cell foam insulation?

Acoustic foam vs panels: what is the difference? Where do you need to place acoustic foam panels?

Then you need to read the notes below where I have tried to describe this topic.

In open cell acoustic material, the cells are open and maximum sound is absorbed by these tiny foam cells. The maximum area of the cell is not closed.

That is the reason why this type of panel is very soft according to its cell structure. For example, reticulated and polyurethane foam is considered as the open-cell panel.

On the other hand, a closed cell (rigid foam) is not fully open like an open cell. The total area of the cell is closed by its wall.

Spray foam is an example of it and many cells or bubbles are seen in it. Besides, neoprene, PVC, EPDM, and some more materials are considered closed-cell panels.

Open Cell vs Closed Cell Foam R-Value

R-value = 3.5-3.8 per inch (open cell spray foam)
R-value = 7 per inch (closed cell spray foam)
That is why the density of the open cell is lower than the closed cell.

Are Open and Closed Cell Panels Used in Soundproofing?

Most people and homeowners use open cell panels for reducing noise in their homes, offices, and other places.

It is one kind of acoustic material and it is also one type of air or vapor barrier (vapor retarder).

It will be better if you install this type of material when the house temperature is near 48 to 60 degrees Celsius.

I have also written about it in another article. In that post, I also shared how sound waves are absorbed automatically. If you want to soundproof your area, you need to place this type of panel at the right location.

Closed Cell vs Open Cell Foam for Insulation Basement & Metal Building

You can use both open and closed-type panels (foam sheets) in the building applications and basement area.

Besides, you can attach this sound-absorbing panel to the hard surface and ceiling surface of the brick or metal building. If you need to know more details you should continue reading…

Is Acoustic Foam Open and Closed Cell Foam?

Yes, you can find two types of acoustic materials in the market. They are open and closed cell panels.

Some people also called it another name which is soundproofing foam. Normally the open cell panel is one type of acoustic material.

On the other hand, polyurethane spray foam is one type of closed-cell panel.

What is the Acoustic Foam Panel Made of?

According to Wikipedia research, (source) polyurethane is the main property of this foam. It may also contain polyether or polyester material.

Two working surfaces are available in this material. One is the top side and the other is the backside.

The feature of one side of the acoustic material may be a wedge or pyramid or cone or eggshell or uneven shape.

On the other hand, the feature on the other side of it remains a plain surface. You can also be able to prepare DIY acoustic panels by attaching this material.

Now you may have a question: why is the other surface of acoustic material plain?

Don’t worry.

Now, I will give you the answer. When you start to attach any acoustic panel to the wall surface, then, of course, a plain surface is needed.

This plain surface of it is easy to attach to any wall surface. This is the reason why one surface of this material remains a finished or plain surface.

All sides of foam have the same soundproof material at the same distance. This is the reason why any acoustic fabric can stop or absorb sound waves and increase the sound quality of speakers from any side.

The front side of this panel has the capability and performance to remove high and low sound frequencies.

On the other hand, the back surface of this panel also can absorb or remove noise instantly.
If you want to know more details about the applications of acoustic panels, then you should read the points below.

After reading these points, you can also understand how you can use the best acoustic panel foam to soundproof a room and other areas.

Now, you need to clear up the confusion about whether the soundproof panels work. To know the details you should read the topic below with full concentration.

Do Soundproof (Acoustic) Panels Work Both Ways?

closed and open cell acoustic foam absorb noise

Do you think that any soundproof material absorbs noise from both sides?

Do you decide to collect it but you are confused that it works on both sides or not?

I think you have come to the right place because you will get all the answers to these questions and you will be satisfied, after reading all the information in this post.

So don’t skip and keep reading to know some important factors that are given in the last part of this post.

If you don’t know anything about acoustic foam tiles and their scientific work, then you don’t need to worry.

I am telling you in an easy acoustic solution so that you can understand deeply. If you know the important notes of soundproof material, then you will be able to collect the best quality soundproof material.

So keep reading …

Do you know the scientific name of soundproof foam? According to Wikipedia data, (source) the scientific name of it is acoustic foam.

Do you know what acoustic material is? The material that can absorb or reflect sound waves instantly, is called acoustic material.

When this material is included in the foam, then it is called acoustic material.

At the initial stage, I think that you can understand what the acoustic element is. At the same time, you have also known that this element is one kind of soundproof material.


Now, let’s move to the topic of why acoustic material works from both sides. The good news is that scientifically it works from both sides.

To know the working procedure of it, first, you need to know the structural formation of acoustic material.

So continue reading…

How do Open and Closed Cell Foam Work?

To know its working function, first, you should have an idea about echo.

Do you know what echo is?

If you know this term, then you are welcome. But if you have no idea about echo, its activity, and its acoustic treatment, then you don’t need to be upset.

Now I am telling you about echo with easy words. An echo is the reflected sound wave that is created from a reflection point inside the room wall.

Suppose, when you shout inside a room, then the sound wave of that shout hits the inside room wall and again comes back to you as a reflected sound.

In this situation, there is more sound noise volume inside your room. This echo is creating more sound volume inside that room.

Now you can understand how the flutter echo or reverberation creates more noise pollution in the room.

To remove this echo, you need to use effective acoustic material that works. So you need to know its working function.

Suppose, you have attached this material to your room wall. Now again you shout in the room. After shouting, you will notice that the sound volume is low.

Now the question is that why is the sound volume low after installing this material to the room wall?

According to scientific theory, this type of foam stops creating echo in the room. You already know that sound-absorbing material is included in it.

This is the reason why it can absorb echo instantly. When you install this type of wall panel, it absorbs the echo instantly. So after shouting, you feel less volume at that time.

After reading this information, now you know how this material absorbs echo from a room.
If you get the best result from it for removing more noise, then you should install it in different places in your internal room.

Don’t worry.

Now I am telling you what place you should attach it to make your area more soundproof. If you want to noise-proof your room wall, then you should use this effective panel with a well-set.

This setting is not hard work. But you should know about this setting. You should attach it to a wall that you have already known before.

While attaching it, you should know some tips for the perfect implementation of this material.

If you don’t know anything about soundproofing walls, then you should read this article about how to soundproof a wall with little steps, how to soundproof a skylight and stop neighbors from hammering at night.

You can also get the answer to this question: Are condos noisy? In these articles, you will get more notes for keeping a wall soundproof.

After setting it to the wall, now you should attach another acoustic panel to the ceiling or roof. To keep a ceiling section more soundproof you must attach that acoustic panel to that ceiling surface.

If you don’t know about roof insulation, then you should read this blog about how to soundproof a ceiling with some easy steps.

After reading that blog post, you will get more information about the easy soundproof ceiling.
By reading all this information, you will realize that this material works.

Besides, there are more functions of this element. To know more about this, you need to continue reading…

Do you think that investing in fiberglass acoustic panels for soundproofing is worth it? I think, if you read the information above about acoustic, then you will get the maximum answer to this question.

You also know that the panel, of course, absorbs reflected sound waves and makes the room more eco-free. It can also change the direction of some echo waves.

For this, echo can’t reach the source. Thus you can hear less echo sound in the room. Besides, there is other good feedback on this type of foam.

It is super waterproof and this is a good sign for the long-lasting of this material. The other point is that, for the capability of waterproofing, it can last for a long time.

After reading all this information, I think you shouldn’t have any confusion about the effectiveness of acoustic panels.

How to Install Open-cell (Acoustic) Foam

Do you know how to attach soundproofing panels to the wall, ceiling, and vocal booth? If you don’t know, do not worry about that.

Now, I am telling you about the process step by step. If you follow these steps, I think you have no problem installing this acoustical panel in your room.

This process is also a super easy method. So start the reading process with the steps:

Step One

First collect a measurement tape. After collecting tape, take a total measurement of your applied area.

Step Two

Collect the quality panel according to the measurement that you have calculated before. You also need to collect expanding spray (closed cell) foam for blocking the gaps and wall cavities. There is more information that spray foam insulation is one type of air-sealing (closed cell) foam.

Step Three

Clean the wall or ceiling area with cotton. You should not use water during cleaning that area.

Step Four

Again measure the place and panel for proper positioning. If there is any problem with fitting it to that place, then you can easily cut the panel and place it nicely.

Step Five

Collect reliable spray adhesive (including chemicals in this glue) and shake this adhesive container a few times. After shaking the spray adhesive, open the mouth cap.

Now apply adhesive to the surface of these panels. At the same time apply adhesive to the wall, ceiling surface, and crawl space too.

Step Six

Now attach the acoustic panels and press them for a little time. By following these steps, attach all the panels to the ceiling surface for attic insulation (attics in houses).

Closed Cell vs Open Cell Acoustic Foam Cost

This depends on the measurement of your current room volume. This is an easy task if you follow some easy tips.

If you just want to noise-proof a room wall, then there are required soundproof accessories like acoustic elements.

If you just need to soundproof a ceiling section, then this panel is also required. If you need to noise proof full room, then there is required all soundproof accessories.

So what amount of panel that you need depends on your requirement area that you want to soundproof.

So think first and then decide about the amount of this panel that you need. To do this, there are some easy procedures that you need to follow. They are…

First, you should collect a measurement tape. Then you measure your required area. After taking the measure, go to the marketplace. Select the best quality acoustic material, and check its measurement. After that, calculate what amount of this panel you need. Finally, collect these panels as per your requirement.

Problems of Closed and Open Cell Foam Insulation

In soundproofing activities, this type of panel can’t stop the sound transmission 100%. That is the reason why you need to use some more effective acoustic elements that work.

You also need to install gik acoustics, MLV layer, and acoustic curtain for the room.

My Viewpoint

After reading the post, I think you can understand its actual function. You also know that both surface sides of this foam rubber have the capability or capacity to absorb and reflect any sound energy and remove it instantly.

If you know the proper guidelines about soundproofing a room with this panel and other soundproof accessories, then you can read this guideline about soundproofing a room.

If you want to remove outside noise, then you should focus on soundproofing your room door, ceiling, and window.

For doing this, you also need some other soundproof accessories that are important to you. If you try to keep your room soundproof, then you can use this panel.

If you want to attach this material to the door panel, then you need spray adhesive which helps that panel to attach to the wall surface.

Do you have more time to know about this material? Then read below these questions with answers about open and closed cell panels.

FAQ: Closed Cell vs Open Cell Foam Insulation

Is Closed-cell vs Open-cell Foam Used at Roof Decks?

For blocking the noise, some people also use these types of material and rock wool in the roof deck section. Besides, you need to follow some more techniques to soundproof a ceiling part.

What does Acoustic (Open and Closed Cell) Material do?

It also reduces airborne noise and heat flow. I know, now you have a question about airborne noise in your mind.

If you don’t have any idea, then you should continue reading this post to know the answer. The noise that passes through the air is called airborne noise.

The good news for you about this material is that it reduces airborne noise and echo noise at the same time. You know that acoustic material is included in it.

This is the reason why it can also reduce airborne noise that comes from outside the room.

Acoustic Foam vs Regular Foam: Difference?

Of course, there are some basic differences between acoustic foam panels and normal (regular) foam panels.

Acoustic panels are more durable than regular panels. Acoustic panels have better firmness than other regular panels.

Acoustic panels absorb and reflect more sound waves than regular panels. Besides, there are more cells in the acoustic panels.

On the other hand, there are fewer cells in regular panels. When the number of cells increases in the panels, then it will grow a higher capability to absorb sound waves.

This is the reason why acoustic panels have a higher resistance for the sound blocking.

Do You Need Open and Closed Acoustic Foam?

This depends on the situation around your living room. When you are searching for soundproof accessories for creating the obstacle of noise flow in your room wall and ceiling section, then you must need this material for solving your problem.

If you want to remove echo in your internal room and bathroom, then I think you need it to reduce room echo.

You know that in our daily life echo sound is created by your room and bathroom wall. So to solve this issue you should position it in your house.

Is Open-cell Foam Effective?

If you read the entire writing of this post about it, then I think you already know the actual effective function of it.

Besides, the note is that it can change the direction of the echo sound. This is the reason why it is becoming more and more popular for removing echo in a room.

Is Open-cell Foam Dangerous?

When you burn acoustic material, then it emits some smoke that may be harmful to all. So my suggestion is that don’t burn it or be alert about it because it may be a fire hazard.

Besides, it can be a reason for mold growth and it is not the moisture barrier. That is why you need to clean these panels regularly.

Otherwise, without burning it, it is safe, eco-friendly, and sound-deadening material too.

Can You Put Open Cell Foam in the Dryer?

Yes, you can keep this material in the dryer for about 10 minutes at a low temperature. But normally there is no need to keep it in a dryer. Just collect it from the marketplace and install it at the required place.

Can You Wash Open Cell Foam?

You can clean this material one or two times per year. It depends on the amount of dust. In this situation, you can use a foam brush to clean dust.

If there are stains in any panel, there is also an option to remove those stains. So follow the below note to remove that stain in the foam.

First, take a cloth and rub the acoustic material slowly with some isopropyl alcohol. After doing that you will see that all stains are removed.

Now take another cloth with warm water and again rub the area where you have applied alcohol. After doing that the smell of alcohol will be removed.

Finally use a hair dryer to dry that material.

How Do You Dry Open-cell Foam?

There is no requirement to dry it before installing it. But if you want to dry your collected foam before attaching it, then you can use a dryer machine.

To do that, first, open the dryer machine. After opening the dryer machine, put it on and dry it at a low temperature.

Remember, you can dry it for a maximum of ten minutes. After doing that drying process, you can now install it on the wall or ceiling.

How Long Does It Take for Spray (Closed Cell) Foam to Expand?

Normally, it takes a few minutes to expand. Besides, you can also check the expanding time in the product description. So my suggestion is that, check all information, before collecting it.

How Thick Should Open Cell Foam be?

Normally it is around 1’’ to 3’’ in thickness. Besides, there is also an option to see the thickness of this panel on the product page. You also don’t need to worry about the thickness of the open cell panel. Because normally it is made to their standard thickness for absorbing noise.

What Kind of Acoustic Panels are Best for Soundproofing?

There are many types of the open-cell panel in the marketplace. If you have enough knowledge about effective acoustic panels, then you can automatically collect the best quality panels from the marketplace.

But if you don’t have any idea and also don’t have enough time to search for quality panels then you can read this guideline to collect the best open cell panel.

Can the Regular Acoustic Panel be Fit for Soundproofing?

This is also a good question for all panel users. If you read all the questions in this FAQ section, then I guess you have already got your answer.

But if you don’t get it now, then read what I am telling you now. You can use the regular panel for the wall or ceiling, but I think that you will not get a more effective result and benefits from that normal panel.

Besides, there is no acoustic material included in the normal panel. You know that bass trap and acoustic material have the power to absorb and reflect any noise wave.

So you need to use quality acoustic material if you want to remove echo indoors. The maximum number of holes is included in the open cell panel. This is also a positive sign in the case of soundproofing material.

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