Engineering Controls to Reduce Noise Exposure

Engineering controls eliminate, or engineer out the noise, by using noise control solutions: sound absorbers, sound blocking, composite sound absorbers/blocking, and ventilation silencing.

When is Noise Control Required?

OSHA's Noise Standard (29 CFR 1910.95) requires employers to have a hearing conservation program in place if workers are exposed to a time-weighted average (TWA) noise level of 85 decibels (dBA) or higher over an 8-hour work shift. Noise control is accomplished through three different modes: sound absorption, sound blocking, and silencing.

Level (dBA) Comment
65 normal conversation
90-95 hearing loss from sustained exposure
125 start to experience pain
140 quickly causes irreversible hearing damage
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Sound Absorption

Sound Absorption

If it is not possible to reduce noise at its source, then sound absorption in the space should be considered. Sound absorption occurs when a material takes in sound energy as opposed to reflecting the energy. Part of the absorbed energy is transformed into heat and part is transmitted through the absorbing body. Noise reduction targets of 10 dBA or less are suitably obtained using sound absorption techniques.

Quilted Absorbers

Quilted Absorbers

  • Reverberant (echo) industrial facilities
    • Automotive garages
    • Environmental control booths
    • Material handling wrap
    • Machine housing
  • The thicker the material the better the sound absorption
Hanging Baffles

Hanging Baffles

  • Reverberant (echo) industrial facilities
    • Warehouses
    • Conveyor facilities
    • Mail handling facilities
    • Printing facilities
  • Various facing materials standard and FDA approved
Sound Absorption Panels

Sound Absorption Panels

  • Reverberant (echo) industrial facilities
    • Warehouses
    • Conveyor facilities
    • Mail handling facilities
    • Printing facilities
Rigid Panel Absorbers

Rigid Panel Absorbers

  • Reverberant (echo) industrial facilities
    • Wastewater Treatment Plants
    • Indoor or outdoor equipment yards
    • Shipping containers used for generator enclosures
    • Anywhere where high durability is required.
Sound Blocking

Sound Blocking

A significant amount of noise can be reduced by using blocking. Some sound energy is reflected while some is blocked. The magnitude of sound energy blocked is in direct relation to the mass of the material (lb./ft2). Noise reduction targets range from 18 dBA – 45 dBA.


Flexible Barriers

Flexible Barriers

  • Above drop ceilings of break rooms, facility manager’s office
  • Part chutes
  • Material handling duct
  • Process piping
Sound Absorption Blocking

Sound Absorption & Blocking

A significant amount of noise can be reduced by combining sound absorption and sound blocking. Sound absorbing material takes in sound energy as opposed to reflecting it. Part of the absorbed energy is transformed into heat and part is transmitted through the absorbing body. A portion of the remaining sound energy is blocked by the solid mass material. Noise reduction targets range from 18 dBA – 45 dBA.


Quilted Barrier Composite

Quilted Barrier Composite

  • Both absorbs and blocks sound
    • Fiberglass media
    • Aluminum, vinyl impregnated, fiberglass facing
    • 1.0 psf. / 2.0 psf. mass-loaded vinyl
Rigid Double-Wall Composite

Rigid Double-Wall Composite

  • Both absorbs and blocks sound
    • Fiberglass / mineral wool media
    • Galvanized, stainless steel, aluminum sheet construction
    • Available in various thicknesses for increased noise reduction performance
Ventilation Silencing

Ventilation Silencing

Fans used to move processes (i.e., dust collection, particulate conveying) or cool equipment and personnel all make noise. Noise is generated by the fan blades imparting upon air molecules or bad flow conditions. Silencers & acoustic louvers can be tuned to balance pressure loss and noise reduction are a great method of solving noise issues.


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