Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by Alex Wills

Industrial Machinery

While industrial equipment may take many forms it all produces noise. In many cases this is an undesirable effect that must be mitigated to create a safe or effective space. Soundown manufactures a wide range of treatments that effectively reduce noise, while staying appropriate to the form and function of the product to be treated. Despite the many forms that industrial equipment takes the principals of reducing noise, and the materials required are often the same. The same principals that are used to keep noise from exiting a machinery enclosure apply to keeping noise out of the operator’s cab in a piece of heavy equipment.

Insulation treatments are used to reduce airborne noise and typically break down into two categories; acoustic absorption and acoustic barriers. You can also combine these approaches.

Acoustic absorption materials reduce reverberant noise inside an enclosure, thereby lowering the amount of noise that exits the enclosure through panels and through openings such as vents or observation hatches.

Barriers increase the noise blocking ability of the panel itself, resulting in higher levels of transmission loss for the enclosure.

Barrier composites combine these treatments. For example Soundown’s Vinyl Foam Composite is a sandwich of acoustic foam with a mass loaded vinyl (MLV) core, which provides both excellent transmission loss and absorption characteristics.

When specifying insulation treatments Soundown’s technical support staff will not only consider the best material from an acoustic standpoint, but also from a materials stand point. While our fire retardant polyether foam is a standard for many applications, certain types of equipment (such as those which are used aboard ships or floating platforms) may require a higher level of fire safety. For these applications we offer materials that are fire rated to UL, NFPA, and IMO standards, such as fiberglass and mineral wool materials. Our LCF Polyimide Foam products are a specialty item available where both light weight and high temperature and fire resistance are required. One example is mobile gas turbine generators.

Soundown also offers a range of vibration damping materials to reduce noise that is radiated from the equipment’s enclosure, base or support structure. Vibration damping materials are bonded directly to the treatment area and convert the vibrational energy into minute amounts of heat, instead of letting it radiate as noise. For light structures and mid-range performance Soundown’s EcoDamp and TuffMass are effective low-cost solutions. For critical performance Soundown’s DT Series Damping Sheet or Tile is recommended. DT series Damping is available in thicknesses from 1/16” to 5/8” and can be used to damp excitation in panels up to ¾” thick.

Where insulation and damping treatments are used to treat airborne paths, vibration isolation is required to treat structureborne paths. Soundown vibration isolation products include rubber mounts and spring mounts, as well as specialty elastomers like Sylomer, Sylodamp, and Sylodyne.

While anti-vibration mounts are often chosen on the basis of load rating alone, there are many other factors that should be taken into account. The foremost of these is the excitation frequency of equipment. A mount that is selected based on load rating alone may provide minimal isolation or, if the mount is in resonance, may even amplify the vibration. Another factor to consider is the service in which the mount is employed. For mobile equipment the mount must be captive to avoid catastrophic failure if the rubber element is damaged. For land-based equipment, a seismic rating may be required. Soundown’s review process includes all relevant parameters and can include calculations such as 6 degrees of freedom (also known as rigid body analysis) or even FEA of the structure where required.

Get Soundown involved with your next project as early as possible in the process. Making a road map for quiet at the beginning will reduce limiting factors and allow us to provide input for critical factors such as ducting of air and proper supporting structure.