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Can Thermocol Reduce Noise? | Check Out The Best Alternatives

can thermocol reduce noise effectively

Is it really hard to achieve a completely silent ambiance?

Can't we get rid of the unwanted noise?

How can we find an effective yet economical solution to the outdoor as well as indoor noise?

Can I soundproof my apartment if my budget is very low?

I am not looking for a high-end soundproofing solution for my home studio rather I am looking for some budget-friendly solution that can really serve my purpose.

Well! I thought that it's a good idea to start with some questions that are frequently asked by my clients or future prospects.

These questions are definitely tricky and, don't have a straight answer. Anyways, in this post, I will try to the best of my capabilities to answer these questions best on my expertise and previous experience.

By the way, I am a soundproof consultant with a decade of experience in this domain.

can thermocol reduce noise effectively

To answer the question, "Can Thermocol reduce noise?", we will have to understand the structure of the Thermocol.

Thermocol is also termed as "Polystyrene". It is an aromatic hydrocarbon polymer made up of monomer styrene.

The Thermocol is very popular and useful because of its unique property. It is in a solid state at room temperature but flows when heated above 100 degree Celsius.

Polystyrene was discovered in 1839 by Eduard Simon

The polystyrene is commercially used for packaging purposes.

Some other uses of Polystyrene in plastic form are as follows:
  • Medical device application like test tubes
  • Smoke detectors
  • Food containers
In the technical term, you can call Thermocol a restructured chemical bond of polystyrene. The restructuring help it to gain more volume without gaining mass. Even the elasticity coefficient of the material improved.

Is Thermocol safe for the environment?

The increasing use of Thermocol and it's tremendous popularity has raised the environmental concerns.

It is made up of monomer styrene, so people are curious about its side-effects if any exists.

If we talk about its insulating properties, then without any doubt it's amazing and mindboggling.

It is made of cutlery and dishes.

A low manufacturing cost and ease of production have made Thermocol a household name.

However, these excellent properties and usefulness can't deny the fact that it is plastic.

Being a petroleum byproduct, it dissolves in any petroleum solvent. Unfortunately, it doesn't degrade for hundreds of years and, resists photolysis.

In case, you think burning it can work for you. Then let me tell you, it is more dangerous for the environment than you can ever think.

If you will burn Thermocol, it will emit Chloro-Floro carbon (CFC). Scientists claim that the long lifetime or presence of CFC in the stratosphere can damage the ozone layer, which protects the earth from the harmful UV rays emitted by Sun.

At the same time, If you are dumping Thermocol waste in the water, then you are putting the marine life at high risk. Being lightweight, it floats on the surface of the water, preventing sunlight and air to reach the water.

I am highlighting the ill-effects of Thermocol in bullet points, hope it helps.
  • People working in Thermocol manufacturing unit are at high risk of developing some serious health problems
  • Made of benzene, hydrofluorocarbons, dioxins which comes under the category of toxin and pollutant materials
  • Non-biodegradable
  • Carcinogenic material- Cancer causing
I have tried my best to highlight both the Pros and Cons of Thermocol.

Now, it totally depends on you whether you wanna use this product for sound reduction purpose or not. However, it will great to create awareness about the side-effects of this product.

By doing so, you will help hundreds of people and, then they can help others. You can call it a Thermocol Awareness Chain or anything of that short.

Wait! we aren't done, we have a piece of good news for you.

Thermocol can be broken into small pieces and, then dissolved into acetone or orange oil. Further, it can be recycled and reused.

Depending upon the final outcome that you may be looking for, you can dissolve it in acetone or orange oil.

If you want to make a model from the Thermocol, then I will recommend you to dissolve it in acetone. You can expect a smaller size and a clay-like structure as an outcome. 

On the other hand, if you want to use it as an adhesive then, dissolve it in orange oil.

So, are you ready to compromise between the pollutant aspect and the practical one?

Well! you are the one who can answer it the best.

Till now, we are talking about everything related to Thermocol other than the title of this post, isn't it funny?

Can Thermocol Reduce Noise Effectively?

We will discuss this topic under two section as mentioned below for better clarity.
  • Noise absorption and Thermocol
  • Noise reduction and Thermocol
Thermocol and Noise Absorption:

Noise reduction and noise absorption are two separate categories and, are used as per the requirement. Now, you know about the environmental issue related to the Thermocol, you will be able to take the decision in a better way.

Correct me, if I am wrong?

All said and done, Thermocol doesn't have the capability to block noise. It is nowhere near to a soundproofing material. If you are the one looking for a material that can create a complete isolated environment, then I will NOT recommend this product. It will not help you to get the desired output.

The reason is very simple and easy to understand. The soundproofing materials are generally the ones that have high density and mass. For your information, mass plays a crucial role when it comes to sound absorption.

Besides this, whatever the material you use for the noise absorption purpose, place it properly.

Thermocol and Noise Reduction:

Definitely, you can reduce the unwanted noise with the help of the Thermocol. If this wasn't the case, then what's the use of writing this article:)

It comes under the category of foam and, has the capability to reduce the noise.

But, the question is to what extent?

Foam is one of the cheapest sound reduction material available in the market. The good news is that you can even use foam to reduce the noise in your home studio or office. Specifically for the home studio, there are many bass traps foam available at an affordable price.

[Related]: Auralex Bass Traps | An Unbiased Review

Personally, I have used Thermocol in my car for noise reduction.

To know how good the Thermocol is at noise reduction. You will have to understand a parameter called Sound Absorption Coefficient. Remember, the coefficient is proportional to the thickness of the material. It means by varying the thickness of the Thermocol, the coefficient will vary.

For example, a 5cm thick Themocol will have 0.3 sound absorption coefficient.

In the layman term, the sound absorption coefficient of 0.3 depicts that Thermocol can reduce noise but not block it.

Another important parameter is Sound Transmission Class (STC) which depicts the relative capability of the sound reduction materials. The STC is of great help when you are planning to soundproof a door, window or room.

You can use Thermocol as a supplementary in reducing noise. Sound travels through the thin walls and, holes in doors and windows. So, you can use it with other sound blocking products for the optimum result.

Some other use of the Thermocol:

To start with, Thermocol is tasteless, fungi-resistant and odorless. Till now, we discussion was mostly concentrated on the Thermocol and Noise Reduction. Definitely, as a soundproof consultant, my primary motive is to help people understand the soundproofing and how Thermocal can be an addon, but at the same time, Thermocol performs a lot many functions and the uses extends to different sectors.

Isn't it interesting to know more about the Thermocol uses?
  • Plays a crucial role in the packaging of agricultural products
  • Pharmaceutical packaging
  • Marine application
  • Disposal cutlery
  • Disposal dishes
  • Used for the packaging of the household appliances
  • Construction Sector

How effective are Thermocol alternatives?

After reading this post, many people will try Thermocol for reducing noise, but the ones who aren't sensitive towards the environment will totally ignore it.

There isn't any doubt that this noise reducing solution is easy to use and most importantly, it's a budget-friendly noise reduction solution. Though Thermocols are great at noise reduction still it's not a complete solution.

This section is for those who want the environment to be clean and healthy. We will discuss some options that you can try. Some of these options are costly while others are budget-friendly.

If we talk about the effectiveness, it totally depends upon your expectation as well as requirement.

Let's begin...

Once you start looking for the additional solution, you will find tons of them. Needless to say, the simplest solution is to buy a quiet product that has some great reviews and you are done. The only problem is the pricey nature of this solution. So, what's the perfect solution?

I will try to cover two more categories. The first category will include the products whose noise reduction capability are a question mark, it may work or it may not work.

The second category will include the products which aren't only great alternatives but also comes at an affordable price.

You may have a question, what is the need to discuss the first category, right?

Well, knowing the products under the first category can help you to understand the importance of the second category and, also prevents you from getting confused.

Category 1: Noise Reduction Products
  • Cardboard
  • Egg Crates
  • Soundproof Wallpaper
  • Soundproof Paint
Most of the aforementioned products are too thin. Egg crates may work to some extent but again it's highly flammable. Soundproof paints work great against the mid-frequencies but again it is NOT so effective against the low as well as high frequencies.

Category 2: Effective Noise Reduction Solution
Though these solutions are good still it isn't a permanent solution. If you are looking for a long-term or permanent solution, the best thing that you can do is to consult a soundproof consultant. He can help you with the best solution as well as the budget.
Using the aforementioned solution as a supplementary one can definitely enhance the output.

Anyways, the final call is yours.

Can Thermocol Reduce Noise: Wrapping UP

I have been giving a concluding statement in almost every post without any hesitation or difficulty but this seems to be a really tough task.

It's difficult for me to reach a conclusion.

Every individual has a different perspective towards life, product etc.

If we talk about the Thermocol, it's perhaps one of the best options for noise reduction under affordable category.

Thermocol is used in a very diversified field and, in short, we can't even imagine the packaging industry without Thermocol, right?

The worst part is that Thermocol is NOT environmentally friendly and, using it on a continuous basis and for long-term can cause health problems.

The good news is that it is recyclable and, by spreading the awareness can really help.

I personally use Thermocal but occasionally. 

Let us know about your experience with Thermocol, also your favorite alternatives.


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