Industrial sound insulation: how to reduce noise levels
Many industrial installations work at high pressure with fast moving media and turbulence. Specifiers therefore have to deal with a full spectrum of noise problems to protect the hearing of personnel and reduce ambient sound particularly in highly populated urban areas. Opting for the right system design and adapted acoustic insulation materials is therefore essential.
Whenever people are working alongside machines or motors, effective noise protection solutions are needed.
Create an optimal acoustic environment with insulation
In industrial acoustics, the noise source is at the center of our concerns, but also the noise propagation paths, as well as the receiver. This is why it is important to prevent these noises by first insulating these different sources of noise.
With the help of different acoustic solutions (acoustic barriers, industrial silencers, etc.), the sound pressure level which is generated by the different industrial installations can be considerably reduced in order to avoid its propagation in the plant.
Did you know…?
Special facings, like black glass tissue and glass fabric, are also available on request if you require even higher acoustic absorption and mechanical stability.
Industrial insulation: create a comfortable working environment
You can add value to your site by investing in the right sound insulation for industry
As a plant operator:
- Improve the working conditions of your employees
- Protect hearing and more generally the health of your employees
- Comply with the directives and regulations in force
As a specifier
- Design high-performance industrial sites for your customers
- Bring key benefits to your customers
- Demonstrate your capacity to innovate
- Meet strict acoustic regulations
Keep the noise down: how to control noise
When designing an industrial plant, you need to be able to control the noise from the beginning to the end of its path. It is therefore necessary to consider the best acoustic solutions in order to put an effective sound insulation in place.
Keep in mind that how you control the noise will directly depend on the mechanism that generates the noise. It can be two types of noise:
- Dynamic Noise, from gases or liquids
- Mechanical noise, vibrations in machine components
If you want to learn more about this topic, download our Industry manual now!
High-performance acoustic insulation solutions
To optimise acoustic protection, ISOVER has developed a wide range of glass wool, stone wool and innovative ULTIMATE™ mineral wool solutions.
Our mineral wool is characterised by:
high longitudinal air-flow resistance (up to >100 k Pa·s/m2)
uniform porosity (93-99%)
low dynamic toughness
low modulus of elasticity
These characteristics result in high sound-attenuation levels, far superior to other acoustic insulation materials like plastic foam.
Excellent sound absorption properties
ISOVER mineral wool products absorb up to 95% of sound energy at certain frequencies. With ULTIMATE™ U TECH, this can be achieved with acoustic insulation materials weighing up to 50% less than traditional stone wool, for example in exhaust gas and desulphurisation equipment.
Superior sound reduction performance
In noisy work areas, we also provide sound-reducing techniques to complement our sound absorption insulation. Sound-reducing constructions using the “mass-spring-mass principle” and sound capsules are particularly effective at reducing noise emissions from industrial processes.
Combined performance: fire and thermal protection
Industrial insulation products for acoustic purposes often have to fulfil a range of performance requirements including thermal insulation and fire protection. This is why ISOVER solutions also offer best-in-class fire safety properties (Euroclass Group A) and high thermal performance.
Lightweight and flexible for easy installation
Installing your acoustic insulation can be particularly challenging when your equipment is close together. ULTIMATE™ achieves identical industrial sound insulation performance at only about half the weight of commercial stone wool, or alternatively at half the thickness.
Innovative acoustic insulation materials
ULTIMATE™ is a new-generation mineral wool with excellent sound absorption properties thanks to the unique fiberising method, which avoids slugs or shot, producing a completely converted high-quality fibre structure.
Which industrial sound insulation solution for which application?
Find out the soundproofing solutions best suited to your needs. Thanks to our multi-material approach, we can help you to define the most suitable solution among our range.
Focus on Pipework
Most industrial sites have kilometers of pipelines, a source of noise that can be very uncomfortable for workers.
Like explained in our dedicated page for Industrial pipe insulation, the most suitable insulation formats for pipe insulation are pipe sections or wired mats, depending on the diameter of the pipe and the thickness of the insulation.
When choosing your acoustic insulation, you may also consider the thermal requirements! Need help to find the right sound insulation solution for your industrial pipework?
Discover Industry Acoustic Insulation Selector our new dedicated tools for your industrial Pipework (according to ISO 15665). Find all the steps to follow in our dedicated article for the Acoustic Insulation Selector.
Did you know…?
In addition to our range of mineral wools, we also offer elastomeric foam insulation - through our sister company KAIMANN.
Discover all our industrial sound insulation solution in our brochure “DESIGNING ACOUSTICS IN INDUSTRY” !
Regulations in forces for industrial acoustics
The acoustic environment has an impact on several areas of the quality of the workspace:
- Acoustic comfort
European directives set the minimum health and safety conditions to be taken into account for workers exposed to noise at their workplace. In other words, European member states can apply these conditions as such or adopt more stringent requirements.
As part of the application of European Directive 89/391 / EEC of 12 June 1989 on the implementation of measures to promote the improvement of the safety and health of workers at work, the European Union has adopted a new directive for the protection of workers against noise:
Directive 2003/10/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 February 2003 concerning the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (noise).
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FAQ : Sound Insulation for Industry
A bit of acoustic theory
What is Frequency?
The frequency of a sound is the number of pressure variations per second and is expressed in hertz (Hz). A frequency of 1 Hz refers to one wave cycle per second, while 20 Hz refers to 20 wave cycles per second. The number of pressure variations gives a sound its distinctive tone: a low frequency produces a low-pitch sound; a high frequency will give a high-pitch sound.
The audio spectrum is the frequency range that is audible to humans. This generally spans from 20 to 20,000 Hz.
What is sound pressure?
The sound pressure level terms the amplitude of a sound. A weak amplitude produces a quiet sound, a large amplitude a loud sound. The scale of sound pressure is expressed in decibels (dB).
How is sound propagated?
We can distinguish two different types of sound sources:
- Point sound source: Where wave fronts propagate in all possible directions in the same way. In most real cases sound sources are similar to this type of source. The sound level decreases by 6 dB when the distance from the sound source is doubled.
- Linear sound source: In one dimension, it has larger magnitudes than in the rest. Its wave front will not propagate in a spherical form but in a cylindrical one according to the environment. In this case the sound level decreases by 3 dB when the distance from the sound source is doubled.
When a source is in an enclosed space, sound waves are reflected by the surfaces that make up the room. This is called a reverberant field. The reverberant field is that part of the sound field that has undergone at least one reflection from the boundary surfaces of the room containing the sound source.
How to choose the best acoustic Insulation for my projects?
What is Air flow resistivity?
The air flow resistivity is a common property to all absorbent materials. It determines their ability to reduce the transmitted acoustic energy, by reducing the speed of sound.
The air flow resistivity is the result of friction between the mineral wool fibres and the air particles they enclose. This property depends mainly on the length and diameter of the mineral wool fibres.
What is dynamic stiffness?
It corresponds to the quality of the mineral wool in accordance with its capacity to absorb noise and vibrations.
What is Sound absorption?
When part of the acoustic energy that strikes a surface is absorbed and transformed into heat, we speak of Sound absorption