Best Drilling Noise Control Techniques

By Nelda Powers

Drilling noise control is important for all industries especially the in the building and construction, oil, gas and water exploration sectors. It is important to ensure that both employees and the community around are shielded from excessive noises emanating from the work equipment. There are various control techniques that can be employed such as vibration isolation, sound absorbing wall panels, sound abatement and air silencers among others.

A linear scale cannot quantify the sound levels and therefore a more improved scale known as a logarithmic scale which is called a decibel is used. There are two aspects of sound which affect human hearing. This include the sound intensity and the length of exposure.Deafness is caused by excess sound intensity which damages the ear drum.

Surveys can be used to determine potential hazards at the work place. Most industries that are ISO certified have to comply with the standards set to act as benchmarks. As per matters relating to noise, there is an acceptable sound level. Preliminary surveys should single out work places that have exceeded the acceptable sound level. A detailed survey identifies the sources of excess sound energy, quantifies their level and comes up with pragmatic solutions on ways of reducing the noises.

Controls are mostly on areas of administration, engineering and hearing protection. Before deciding on the best controls, a consultant needs to gain an understanding of the basic principles of noise-control. Problem analysis should be broken down into components that include the source, transmission and reception. A single piece of machinery can combine various independent noises. Various pathways can be used to propagate the noises to the receivers.

Two or more sound sources are able to produce sound energy that is usually higher by at least 3 dB. It is advisable to separate the sources hence effectively minimizing the sound energy. Sound insulation helps cut down the energy that is able to penetrate a body or object. It relies upon the principle of reflection. A big porous material in the form of a wall or a partition is the most effective way of insulation. This principle is mostly applied in music recording studios.

Policies set by the company administration should help reduce the sound-levels. Sound policies such as the purchase of quiet equipment can be very beneficial in solving this problem. This type of equipment is quickly gaining popularity around the world. Many manufacturers are now manufacturing and assembling such equipment as they are selling quickly and are more profitable. Routine maintenance of plant and job rotation can also help cut down on noise-levels.

Where it poses a challenge to reduce the noises from their source, one can use a simple enclosure which should be sealed. This can help reduce noises by 15 to 20 dB. Large and heavy machines should not be mounted near buildings. They should be mounted on foundations. Stable foundations are best and it is recommended that elastic separation such as rubber or springs made of steel be used.

There are many drilling noise control techniques that can be used on drifters. Only down the hole hammer machines with hydraulic drive motors should be used. Use of insulators with a double glass can to a big extent help reduce penetrating sound energy.

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