General Procedure and Information for Mechanical System Sound Abatement DesignBill Greco April 16, 2009 Trident3w2gre@verizon.netPg 3 of 11Fans generate a tone at the blade passage frequency. To account for this, the soundpower level in which the blade passage frequency occurs is increased by a specifiedamount. The number of decibels to be added to this is called the blade frequencyincrement.There are specific sound power levels associated with fan total sound power.
Aerodynamic noise is generated when airflow in the duct becomes turbulent as itpasses through sharp bends, sudden enlargements or contractions, and most devices thatcause substantial pressure drops. Aerodynamic noise is usually of no importance whenthe velocity of airflow is below 2000 feet per minute (10 m/s) in the main ducts; below1500 fpm (25 m/s) in branch ducts; and below 800 fpm (4 m/s) in ducts serving roomterminal devices. When the duct system velocities are in excess of the above or when theduct does not follow good airflow design principles, aerodynamic noise can become amajor problem. Increasing the duct size may be required to reduce the noise generatedby airflow.Aerodynamic noise is predominantly low frequency in spectrum (31.5 through 500Hz 1/'l octave band center frequencies). Low frequency energy is transmittedreadily, with little loss, through the light gauge walls of ducts and through suspendedacoustic ceilings.This includes: dampers, elbows with turning vanes, elbows without turning vanes, junctions, and 90 degree branch takeoffs.
Duct Terminal Devices
Dampers in terminal devices that are used for balancing can greatly affect the soundlevel in the space.Pressure reducing valves in mixing and variable volume boxes usually have publishednoise ratings indicating the sound power levels that are discharged from the low pressureend of the box. The manufacturer may also indicate the requirements, if any, forthe sound attenuation materials to be installed in the low pressure duct between the boxand outlet.Some of the box manufacturers also test the noise radiated from the exterior of the box,however this data is not usually published. lf the box is located away from critical areas(such as in a storeroom or corridor), the noise radiating from the box may be of no concern. lf, however, the box is located above a critical space and separated from thespace by a suspended acoustical ceiling which has little or no transmission loss at lowfrequencies, the noise radiated from the box may exceed the noise criterionfor the room below. For this case it may be necessary to relocate the box to a non-criticalarea or to enclose it with a construction having a high transmission loss.