Guide to Industrial Soundproofing & Compressor Noise Control

Top ways to Industrial Soundproofing

Sound insulation refers to the processes involved in checking sound from entering or exiting a specified area by absorbing and/or attenuating sound. Sound insulation mechanisms can be used in a number of situations, some of which may include private homes, religious centers, offices, studios, and especially industrial soundproofing notable for sound pollution mostly attributable to the use of heavy machinery.

  • Noise Reduction at Source:

Selection of Process and Machine Tools:

One of the basic principles of noise control is that noise near the source should be reduced as much as possible. The largest number of people is protected from noise in this way; moreover, noise control treatment is less expensive.

The noise that is likely to be produced must be considered at the beginning of the planning of the plant, even before placing orders for machines and tools. The process used in production, to a large extent, determines the noise problem in the plant. When a plant is being planned, planners must keep in mind that many very noisy processes have alternatives that produce much less noise.

Some common examples of this are:

  • welding rather than riveting;
  • pressure rather than forging; 
  • Grinding rather than chopping.

Noise cannot be a major consideration in selecting an industrial process; but it must be taken into account as one of the economic factors. The reason is that once a process has been selected and brought into the plant, no amount of in-plant noise reduction processing is likely to reduce the noise level of a noisy process to the quieter alternative.

Since very few machine tool manufacturers offer noise levels for their products at present (in India and other developing countries, at least) plant engineers have to compare the noise from different types of machine tools in operation. One must also keep in mind that excessive noise from a tool, for its type, size and power level, generally indicates low mechanical efficiency.

  • Reducing the potential noise energy:

It is well known that the amount of noise emitted by a surface depends on the amplitude of the vibration and on the area of   the radiated surface. Of these two factors, the capacitance is determined by the surface resistance to oscillatory motion and the force available to drive it.

  • By reducing the amount of energy delivered to the vibrating surface
  • By reducing the surface’s efficiency as a noise radiator

Unless the way the energy is applied changes, it is likely that energy reduction will only be effective if the process that generates the noise is not an essential part of the process.

Noise sources in a factory can be categorized under:

  • Impact
  • Reciprocity
  • Friction
  • Air turbulence
  • Reduction of Noise Radiation:

For given amplitude of the source vibration, the intensity of the noise generated by it will be approximately proportional to the area of   the radiated surface, if the surface dimensions are large compared to the wavelength of the sound generated.

Tips for Dealing with Compressor Noise Control

The one thing most compressors have in common is that they are noisy. Air compressors with higher horsepower or less expensive are usually the highest. An easy solution might be to find you a super quiet noise reduction model, but if your air compressor is still serviceable, it may be worth finding some solutions around noise.

1. Perform regular maintenance

While the compressor is working, it generates a lot of noise as it absorbs air, compresses it with a piston, and then stores the air for later use. While the mechanisms are doing their job, the moving parts are subjected to wear and tear. This means that the device has to work harder to keep up with the demands you make of it, which increases the amount of noise it makes.

2. Install silencers

A lot of the noise that the air compressor makes comes from the air entering. As the compressor rotates, it pulls in accelerated air through a reed or fin valve that vibrates with each pulse. Install an intake muffler on the intake valve to dampen those high frequency impulse noises.

Silencers work as a combination of air filters and sound silencers. It contains tubes or sound dampening materials that reduce the sound generated by the rush of air and reduce the amount of noise the machine makes. The muffler also keeps any restriction on intake flow to a minimum, so the compressor doesn’t lose much in efficiency. When purchasing a muffler, note the size of the pipe thread on the compressor intake head to avoid purchasing a small-sized muffler that can significantly restrict air flow to the compressor.

3. Build a soundproof enclosure for the compressor

One effective approach to compressor noise control is to build a soundproof box to encase the compressor while it is in operation. Container construction is more efficient on smaller models, so consider the size of the compressor to ensure that the compressor fits snugly. For sound-insulating materials, consider using sound-insulating foam or rubber to help absorb noise while the machine is running.

4. Use soundproof materials

Alternatively, you can also make use of sound dampening materials to help reduce any noise. One of the causes of excessive noise is the interaction between the compressor and the floor. While the air compressor is working, it often vibrates, which may produce some ground-impacting noise.

Consider installing some rubber grommets between the floor and the compressor stand to help isolate noise. O-rings come in different sizes, so watch out for ferrules that fit the compressor. You can also set up rings around the compressor’s motor to help absorb the normal sounds it makes. If the compressor is near a wall, sounds may also bounce, and echoes can help contribute to noise levels.

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