Sandwich-fabric panels can provide for an alternative spacer material in a constrained layer damping configuration. Constraining layer configurations with sandwich-fabric spacers can be a weight efficient replacement for full composite constraining layers, if the shear stiffness of the rubber used is not too high. It seems that in any case the use of sandwich-fabric spacers can lead to a more cost-effective damping treatment. To predict the damping of multilayer materials a strain energy method was used. The damping of multilayer beams could be accurately modelled by calculating the distribution of strain energies in the structure with the help of finite elements and knowledge of the loss factors of the individual layers (as a function of frequency). (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.