Commercial power generators, air compressors, and other industrial equipment make a lot of noise. To counter loud noise levels, OEMs attempt to contain the disruptive sounds with an enclosure.
Enclosures are supposed to trap sound waves so they don’t affect the ambient environment. Unfortunately, most traditional sound enclosures are less effective than the industry commonly thinks. Without the right acoustic lining, enclosures only block a fraction of the sound waves. Even worse, improperly lined enclosures can actually amplify noise, before it can reduce it.
Sheet-Metal Sound Enclosures Are Not Enough—Here’s Why
Most sound enclosures are made from sheet metal. This type of solid barrier can deflect sound waves to some degree, but it has a limited impact.
To find a better solution, our team of engineers at Technicon Acoustics investigated how sound enclosures performed with and without acoustic-absorber lining materials. Using a device that outputs a constant sound at 85 decibels, we tested the decibel level one meter away from the sheet-metal enclosure and discovered the volume rose internally to 113 decibels—a net increase of 28 decibels compared to the sound origin.
Why did sheet-metal enclosures make the environment 28 decibels louder? With further testing, we determined the solid barrier did obstruct sound waves upon contact, making the noise softer—however, the sound was amplified inside of the enclosure before it transferred into the surrounding area.
Ultimately, our study reveals manufacturers must pay attention to two factors: the material of the physical barrier and the subsequent sound wave concentration inside the enclosure. The enclosure can reduce noise, but OEMs are not reaping the full benefits of an enclosure without using acoustic absorber material internally.
How Can Modified Sound Enclosures Reduce Noise?
We theorized the right acoustic-absorber lining material and design could manage air paths and reduce a device’s sound output more effectively. To test our theory, we used an enclosure with a 24-inch-by-36-inch louver and discovered the following decibel changes:
- Acoustic Barriers: -4.1 decibels
- 1-inch Absorber Foam: -7.0 decibels
- 2-inch Absorber Foam: -8.5 decibels
Contact the Technicon Acoustics Team Today to Get Started
To prevent these problems and soften loud noises, we recommend using acoustic absorber foams in an enclosure to block and absorb sound for a net decibel reduction. Contact Technicon Acoustics today to learn more about our sound absorber tools specially engineered for power generation equipment, air compressors, and commercial machinery.
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