How to dampen noise from PC fans

  Added by: snoofer  Last edited by: snoofer  Viewed: 700 times   Rated by 5 users: 8.60/10
Contributed by: Steen / aallonharja / Nexsus6
Submitted: March 10th, 2004
Images archived: 2005

If you are trying to make use of a PC case fan, but finding it gets quite loud, this is for you!

You will need the following:

o Insulation foam strip (any thin foam should do)
o Heat-shrink tubing (from any electronics shop)

Step 1 - Preparing your mounting screws

Take your heat-shrink tubing and cut 4 pieces - each around the width of your fan mounting (Picture 2). Insert the screw into the tubing and shrink to fit (Picture 3).

You now have rubber coated screws to dampen some of the vibrations.

Step 2 - Mounting the fan

Take your foam tape, peel off the backing and place along the edge of your fan (the side facing the wall). Make SURE that all sides are covered!

As you can see, overlapping the tape is fine.

Screw the fan to your box wall tightly! The foam will compress leaving an air-tight seal around the edge of the fan.

The rubber screws coupled with the foam seal will stop vibrations from the fan, leaving only the sound of air passing through it. This can be reduced to silence by running the fan at 9 volts!

Contributed by: aallonharja

A much simpler approach is using one of those camping mats made of polyurethane. Cut a strip of the mat thats long enough to run 3 times around the outer sides of the fan.

Make an opening for the fan that is slightly smaller than the fan with the mat, OR depending on your setting, make an frame for the mat/fan combo that you can fit on the inlet/outlet hole (out of wood or whatever).

Stuff/slip/slide carefully the fan - mat combo into the opening - simultaneously insulating any light and air leaks AND very effectively sound dampening the fan. Its also possible to run wires through between the mat layers as it flexes to accommodate wiring.

Usually its possible just to make the opening and slip in the fan-mat combo, no screws etc needed. If the strip of mat extends in front and back of the fan, the sound of the fan (blades) and air rushing is also dampened.

Contributed by: Nexsus6

If mounting and noise are an issue, another great damper is silicone. If your fans are not near a direct heat source (unaffected by high temp silicone mixtures), you can effectively run a bead around all contact surfaces prior to tightening...Silicone maintains a certain elasticity after curing. Allows vibration to dissipate and holds screws tight.
  Last modified: 17:49 - Jan 09, 2005  

faq:1694 "How to dampen noise from PC fans"