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How to eliminate NVH issues from industrial and commercial buildings

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article image A broad variety of commercial and industrial plant can be mounted on Firestone Airmount isolators

Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) issues in commercial and industrial buildings need to be resolved at source to ensure a lasting solution, according to Air Springs Supply .

Many industrial and commercial facilities are likely to invest in extensive sound-deadening materials or personal protection equipment for staff in NVH-affected areas. However, there are relatively inexpensive solutions for the problem, which involve isolating the source of the trouble with simple inflatable or solid rubber mounts.

The inflatable Airmount air springs and complementary solid engineered fabric and rubber Marsh Mellow springs are already proven globally in applications ranging from extreme isolation of operating tables in hospitals and computer and electronics installations, through to effective dampening of the din and shaking created by heavy shakers, crushers, metal stamping equipment, compressors and generators in industrial plant.

James Maslin, National Marketing Manager for isolation and actuation specialist Air Springs Supply, suggests that prevention should be considered before the cure. Air Springs Supply is the established national distributor of Firestone industrial products.

A universal problem throughout the design, engineering and construction of industrial and commercial buildings, NVH is not only a workplace hazard to the occupants of buildings, disrupting employee comfort, safety and wellbeing, but can also disrupt the daily function of instruments and computerised building systems, including automation systems and process control and materials handling systems.

Mr Maslin observes that NVH, for many years, was never considered an issue by building specifiers and their clients as it was treated as typical background noise in industrial or commercial buildings. However, with increasing awareness of the hazards of NVH over the last decade, not only on the health of the occupants but also on the performance of expensive electronic equipment, buildings are required to sustain a quieter environment free of vibration and shock.

In response to designer and industry needs for simple, reliable and highly efficient ways to tackle NVH, Air Springs offers an extensive range of inflatable Airmount isolators in an expanded range of sizes to individually support weights from under 100kg up to more than 40,000kg. Isolators range from palm-sized models to nearly a metre across, which have been used as actuators to lift mining draglines for maintenance.

Mr Maslin explains that Airmount isolators contain no internal moving parts to wear, or metal springs or surfaces to corrode or break. Manufactured by Firestone in exactly the same way as the air springs used in the suspensions of luxury coaches, heavy trucks and express trains, these isolators are extraordinarily robust.

Air Springs Supply’s single, double and triple-convoluted Airmount isolators as well as rolling sleeve models and complementary Marsh Mellow isolators have been refined to achieve isolation efficiencies exceeding 99 per cent in some instances.

According to Mr Maslin, Airmounts deliver a range of performance levels demanded across a very broad spectrum of needs from suspension of a 30kg computerised control panel to total suspension of the entire 100-tonne bulk of a huge motor, crusher, press or production line or even entire generators and HVAC plants for commercial buildings.

Firestone Marsh Mellow tubular isolators, which complement Airmount isolators, are suitable for low maintenance heavy plant. Comprising of a solid rubber core surrounded by bias layers of fabric engineered to the needs of particular applications, Marsh Mellows offer a simpler solution compared to the Airmounts as they don’t need to be inflated.

One of the latest isolation techniques to achieve international acceptance, Marsh Mellow springs are a simple, robust and effective means of solving industrial shock and vibration isolation problems.

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