Will this foam from PSU box help dampen sounds? Or hurt?

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robollama
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Will this foam from PSU box help dampen sounds? Or hurt?

Post by robollama » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:37 pm

Should I be doing this?
Image

I've read reports of the foam included with electronics to be anti-static and potentially conductive... Could I be putting my system in danger by using this stuff?

It came with my Seasonic X650 PSU (it's just part of the packaging)
Image
slightly closer look at the foam (not my picture)

IF this isn't potentially harmful, is it doing any good acoustics-wise?

mkk
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Re: Will this foam from PSU box help dampen sounds? Or hurt?

Post by mkk » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:45 am

From a strict ESD standpoint it's not exactly safe, though I wouldn't worry about the drive dying from it unless it would be very expensive for the user to replace it. (always make regular backups of important of course)
I would place it upside down for both better cooling and likely less risk of ESD damage to the drives circuit board. Letting it rest upside down on an ESD bag (or piece of a bag) might also help by isolating the drive from long term ESD buildup in the plastic foam.
The foam itself would mostly help some against vibrations, but it's not very dense so if the drive has a high pitched air borne noise as well that foam might not be able to make much of a difference against that in perticular.

robollama
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Re: Will this foam from PSU box help dampen sounds? Or hurt?

Post by robollama » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:59 pm

mkk wrote:From a strict ESD standpoint it's not exactly safe, though I wouldn't worry about the drive dying from it unless it would be very expensive for the user to replace it. (always make regular backups of important of course)
I would place it upside down for both better cooling and likely less risk of ESD damage to the drives circuit board. Letting it rest upside down on an ESD bag (or piece of a bag) might also help by isolating the drive from long term ESD buildup in the plastic foam.
The foam itself would mostly help some against vibrations, but it's not very dense so if the drive has a high pitched air borne noise as well that foam might not be able to make much of a difference against that in perticular.
Alright so if I just add an ESD bag underneath I should be fine? I think I'll keep the HDD the way it is regarding orientation as it's only 34C temp. With the foam + bag I should be 99.9% safe right?

BZD
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Re: Will this foam from PSU box help dampen sounds? Or hurt?

Post by BZD » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:37 pm

robollama wrote:Alright so if I just add an ESD bag underneath I should be fine? I think I'll keep the HDD the way it is regarding orientation as it's only 34C temp. With the foam + bag I should be 99.9% safe right?
I am all for reusing stuff but in this case I think you may wanna reconsider.

Apart from possible electric static issues I would be worrying about the foam possibly giving of chemicals due to getting warm. It may be a non-issue and me being paranoid but computers are toxic enough as it so no reason to risk long term health issues (this is also why some car sound damping can be ill advised for indoor use).
The world needs better computer monitors (higher DPI, better colors, more contrast...) :-)

robollama
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Re: Will this foam from PSU box help dampen sounds? Or hurt?

Post by robollama » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:08 am

BZD wrote:
robollama wrote:Alright so if I just add an ESD bag underneath I should be fine? I think I'll keep the HDD the way it is regarding orientation as it's only 34C temp. With the foam + bag I should be 99.9% safe right?
I am all for reusing stuff but in this case I think you may wanna reconsider.

Apart from possible electric static issues I would be worrying about the foam possibly giving of chemicals due to getting warm. It may be a non-issue and me being paranoid but computers are toxic enough as it so no reason to risk long term health issues (this is also why some car sound damping can be ill advised for indoor use).
Point taken. I actually removed this stuff a couple days ago.

andyb
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Re: Will this foam from PSU box help dampen sounds? Or hurt?

Post by andyb » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:22 pm

Hurt..... a lot.

That drive is going to get very hot the moment you start a defrag or run a virus scan, or even if your ambient temp is quite high (remember that all things that generate heat will generate heat plus the ambient temp, so if you are at 20C and that HDD + packing foam + no-airflow could mean that your drive is running at 45C, if your ambient hits 25C then your drive will go up by another 5C and so on).

Your best bet is to suspend it in-front of the front case fan - lots of inexpensive, safe and secure methods in the link below. The reason I know, I run virus scan on peoples HDD often and they usually sit on an antistatic bubblebag (this is not a standard bubblebag which will create static) so the vibration doesn't drive me crazy, a laptop drive can get pretty hot, a desktop drive is painful to touch...... unless there is some modest airflow. That kind of packing foam is very good at keeping things hot, put it in direct sunlight for a while, then take it out and see how slowly it looses its heat - that is the exact opposite of what you want and over a prolonged period it can fry your HDD.

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Andy
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