Tips for insulating PC and server cases

Soundproofing Computers & Servers

Computer equipment, like a PC or server, can cause quite some noise nuisance. The sound problems can consist of both contact and airborne noise. The more the computer equipment is tasked, the bigger the noise issues become. This has to do with the fact that the device's ventilators run at full speed in order to cool the device. The contact noise increases as the ventilators work harder, since airborne noise is caused by the supply and exhaust of air.

Soundproofing a PC (computer) case

Open the case, remove panels/doors and clean it thoroughly. Provide as much of the inner side's surfaces as possible with STP Black Silver anti-drumming foil. This product adds weight to the surface that causes the resonation and prevents it from vibrating, allowing the insulation value to increase.

In order to insulate the airborne noise produced by the hardware and airflow, you should apply the absorption material Flamex Basic on top of the STP mats. You can attach Flamex by means of a few drops of Sikaflex Saelant. Flamex can be easily cut to size and is resistant to temperatures up to 150 °C. This intervention ensures that a certain percentage of airborne noise is being absorbed before leaving the case.

Points of attention:
Make sure that the materials don't touch the hardware anywhere. In most cases, absorption material with a thickness of 15 mm is thick enough and the safest. Keep air passages open and make sure that the temperature inside the case doesn't increase too much.

Soundproofing server cases

In general, two types of server rooms can be distinguished. An architectural construction made from, for example, concrete or stone, including a door and air conditioning. And secondly, server rooms that were built later on, consisting of plasterboard or system walls, often including a simple swing door.

The most common weak spots in an architectural construction is the door. Often, this is a door that leaks sound because of a lack of mass and good seal. If the door's dimensions allow this, the solution can be a new sound insulating door. If not, you can carry out the Step-by-Step Plan for Insulating Doors. If, after these interventions, the room still leaks sound, it may be the case that the walls are lighter than initially assumed and the following solution should be applied.

Server rooms that are built inside a room/office in a later stage often contain thin and lightweight system walls, which sometimes don't even connect to the ceiling (!). In this case, the first priority should be to connect the walls to the architectural (concrete) ceiling in order to create a closed-off space. The easiest way of insulating walls is by applying Isomat KE14. This can be carried out by glueing the Isomat plates against the walls and to finish it with sheet material like plasterboard or wooden plates. We also offer a step-by-step plan for this procedure.

If the situation allows so, the 'box-in-box method' will be the most effective. Basically, a new room inside an existing room is built by placing floating noise insulating walls, a floating ceiling, floor, and door. However, in order to carry out this solution you do need to completely clear the room first!

Points of attention: always make sure that there is qualitative air conditioning. You can also inquire your IT supplier for obtaining the right solution. Avoid sound leaks through cabel and pipe transits.    

Soundproofing a gameconsole

A gameconsole is often too small to equip its inside with acoustic materials. Usually, this isn't really necessary anyway, since the devices are quite silent.

What may cause a problem, however, is when the console is placed in a cupboard or other piece of furniture. The higher the device's temperature, the more likely the gameconsole starts to resonate. A piece of furniture can amplify the vibration, resulting in a humming sound (contact noise). By placing the console on vibration dampers, you decouple the console from the piece of furniture and the sound disappears. If the device also produces airborne noise (sounds), you should equip the parts from the piece of furniture (at least the backside) with Flamex Basic absorption material. 

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