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Spring-wrapped automobile brake drum shows application of v i b r a t i o n - d a m p i n g techn i q u e to otherwise noisy device.

D r u m shown is on test stand equipped with a timing switch.

Noise Reduction in Machinery


E solution the problem T Hof involves tonoise different reducing in machinery many techniques, some of which are useful for reducing vibration prior to the time it produces audible sound. In order to familiarize engineers interested in reducing machinery noise with the scope of this problem it is first necessary to explain the means by which machinery noise is produced and to describe the m a n n e r in which various types of machine components affect vibrations which produce noises. A description of the way vibrations are converted into the sounds which ultimately reach an observer's ears and means for controlling sound at its point of origin will be presented followed by a discussion of machinery noise control along
* T h i s p a p e r was presented at the Industrial Noise Control Engineering Institute at the University of Wisconsin on May 2, 1957.

the transmission path and at the final radiating surface. A method of attacking noise reduction problems using noise-flow diagrams will be presented, together with an example of the use of noise-flow diagrams to r o u n d out the picture.

How Machine Components Produce Noise

Machines produce noise by many different means. Most machinery noise can be described as originating from one or more of the following: impact; friction; air turbulence; forced vibration; or other motions due to the change in velocity of a moving part. I m p a c t Noise T h e r e are many sources of impact noise. One of the most common is gear tooth impact. Each time a gear tooth touches a tooth in the mating gear, a small impact is produced. Impacts are also pro-

duced in air cylinders when the piston strikes either end of the cylinder. Other impact-type noises are those produced by drop hammers, forges, cutting bars, punch presses, and similar machines. Impact noise is produced by two objects coming into contact at relatively high velocities. Friction Noise Some of the more common sources of friction-generated noise are gears, bearings, extrusion presses, and sliding linkages. These and other frictional sources produce noise by the rubbing together of two relatively hard materials. Air Turbulence A considerable amount of noise is produced when air is ejected from a nozzle. This noise is produced both by the shearing effect of the moving air on the stationary air around it and by turbulence

November 1957


caused by the moving air passing over rough surfaces. T u r b u l e n c e noise is characteristic of air systems used to clean dies and eject small stamped parts. F o r c e d Vibration T h e category of forced vibration includes a very large n u m b e r of possible machinery noise sources. Vibration can be caused by poor balance of a rotating part. T h e vibration set up by the unbalance force shakes the rotating part as well as its shaft, bearings, housing, frame, and any other members which may be attached. Oscillating parts such as bell cranks and similar mechanisms also produce forced vibration due to their change or reversal in velocity.

Besides this mechanical path, there are air paths and combinations of structural and air paths. Some of the noise produced at the gear contact point is radiated directly to the air; some is radiated to the air by the gears, shafts, and bearings. T h r o u g h acoustic coupling some of this noise may cause other machine parts to vibrate. In order to control or reduce noise efficiently, it is necessary to find the predominant paths through which the noise is transmitted. A later section will describe the use of a noise-flow diagram for this purpose.

Transmission and Radiation of Noise

T h e problem of machinery noise generation is complicated by the effects of coupling between machine parts, resonant members, radiating areas, and radiating patterns.

through the hub and shaft because there is a tight mechanical contact between these parts. In effect, whenever two pieces of structure are tied together without a compliant member in between, vibrations are transmitted from one to the other quite efficiently. Whenever an airborne sound is produced it sets into vibration any wall, beam, or part on which it impinges. T h e effectiveness of acoustic coupling presents one of the major problems for the aircraft industry today. T h e coupling may be so good t h a t airborne noise can destroy structural members in the sound field.

Magnetic Noise Whenever an alternating-current magnetic device is part of a machine, vibrational forces due to the alternate magnetic attraction and repulsion of magnetic materials are set up at the fundamental and harmonic frequencies of the magnetic field. Unless controlled, these electromagnetic vibrations can result in noise.

How Noise Produced by the Source Reaches the Observer

Noise produced by the sources described above reach the observer as a combination of structure-borne and airborne vibrations. Using a gear system as an example, one of a variety of manners by which a typical sound might reach an observer may be described. One of the sound sources in a gear system is the contact between the teeth. This contact usually produces noise in two different ways: (1) by the friction of one tooth rubbing on the other and (2) by the impact of one tooth upon the other. From the point of origin, the noise may take two paths. It may take a structural path, by which the noise in the form of a vibration in the gear tooth travels through the gear hub to the shaft, through the bearings to the frame and housing of the machine. This sets the frame and housing into motion; the motion of the frame and housing produce airborne noise by the alternate compression and rarefaction of air.

Effect of R e s o n a n t M e m b e r s All machine parts have one or more resonant frequencies. Whenever a noise source creates a vibration at one of these resonant frequencies the vibration is amplified by the particular machine member or members which are in resonance at that frequency. Because of this effect a source which by itself creates only a small amount of airborne noise may be responsible for high noise levels at the observer's position. This same effect, however, will often allow noise reduction with very little effort. The Effect of Coupling T h e r e are three types of coupling which normally contribute to the transmission of sound and vibration: (1) coupling between solid structural parts, (2) magnetic coupling, and (3) acoustic coupling. Magnetic coupling is usually found in machines which have alternating-current electromagnetic sources or components. This type of coupling converts electromagnetic energy to forces in nearby magnetic materials through the alternating force produced by the magnetic field. Structural coupling takes place when two parts are tied rigidly together. For example, noise produced by gear teeth is transmitted

Radiation of Noise Any vibrating mechanical member radiates some noise at the frequencies of vibration; however, the vibrating part may or may not be efficient as a radiator of sound energy. T o be an efficient sound radiator it is usually necessary for a machine part to have dimensions at least as large as one wavelength of the frequency of the noise being radiated. A machine part larger than this generally radiates noise roughly in proportion to the surface area of the piece. Parts with dimensions less than a wavelength radiate less sound not only because of their small area, but also because of the dipole effect, which reduces the noise radiation even more. T h e dipole effect might be explained with a loudspeaker system as an example (see Fig. 1). If the cone of the loudspeaker is moving in a positive direction, it will increase the air pressure on the positive side of the cone and reduce the air pressure on the negative side of the cone. If, however, the diameter of the loudspeaker is small compared to the wavelength of the frequency at which it is moving, the area of positive pressure on one side of the cone is dose to the negative area on the other side of the cone. Air can flow from one side of the cone to the other in a short time compared with the time required for one-half cycle of sound to be produced. It is possible, therefore, for the negative wave to partially cancel the positive wave. T h e


NOISE Control

sound pattern of any surface which is small compared to a wavelength of the sound being radiated is influenced by this dipole effect.


Enclosure ot Battle

Morion of Air


Motion of

Noise Reduction Noise produced by machines may be controlled at the point of origin, along the transmission path, at the radiating surface, or between the radiating surface and the observer. It will sometimes be possible to attain the desired noise reduction by treating any one of these areas alone. Often, however, in order to find an economical solution to the noise problem, it will be necessary to apply part of the noise reduction effort to several of these areas. For example, a gear assembly might be quieted solely by treating the contact surfaces. This might be exceedingly time-consuming, however, and an expensNe cure. It would appear to be more economical in this case to design a moderately good tooth profile, attaining the remainder of the noise reduction from isolating the rotating parts from the machine frame or reducing the noise radiated. This might be done either by applying damping material to the housing of the machine or by building an acoustical cover around the machine. Methods to reduce noise at the source and at each of the other points along the noise path will be discussed separately.
Control at the Source It is often practical to reduce the noise radiated by a particular machine by reducing the a m o u n t of noise generated by the source process. As explained above, several of the most common sources are impact, friction, air turbulence, forced vibration, and magnetic fields.

Radiation pattern Along the a~is no sound is r in other direction the effect Is greotly reduced. OIPOLE RADIATOR SIMPL( RAOIATOR

Radiation pattern, provided the wavelength is much longer than the dimensions of the source

Fro. 1. T h e enclosed loudspeaker shown at the left is a source of positive pressure radiating uniformly in all directions. For the loudspeaker at the right, the positive pressure on the front is radiated toward the right, while the negative pressure at the back is radiated toward the left. Along the vertical axis the positive and negative pressures cancel. T h i s is the "dipole effect." T h e radiation patterns are shown at the b o t t o m of the figure.

Control of Impacts T h e noise produced by an impact is usually proportional to the deceleration at impact. It is also dependent on the size of the impacting pieces, their mass, stiffness, and damping. One of the most effective ways of reducing impact noise is to reduce the deceleration. This may be accomplished in some cases by changing the surfaces of the parts coming together. For example, the noise of an air-cylinder November 1957

piston hitting the end of a cylinder head may be reduced without seriously affecting the operation by interposing a piece of r u b b e r (usually called a r u b b e r cushion) or other soft material between the cylinder head and the piston. Many other mechanical impact noises might be reduced by identical means; this feature is sometimes neglected in the original machine design process, however, because the designer is not aware of its effectiveness in noise reduction. Impact noise may also be reduced by mechanical damping of the machine parts. One or both of the parts may be made up of a laminated structure with a strip of felt or some other soft material between two sheets of the metal used in the part. On thin plates damping may be accomplished by applying a coat of commercial damping compound to one surface. Damping is most effective on thin sheet-like parts. T h e change of an impact operation to a pressure operation can also be considered as an effective source control technique. In some cases, where it is not practical to change the type of operation or to reduce impact noise

by changing the characteristics of the impacting surface, it will usually b e necessary to control the noise not at its source but along its transmission path or at the radiating area. Control at these points will be discussed later.

Friction Noise Friction noise is the noise produced by two surfaces rubbing together. One obvious solution is to provide lubrication between the parts. Besides lubrication it is quite often possible to change the surface materials or to apply damping to the source, which may also be t h e radiating area. One notable example of this may be found in the case of one of the leading automobile manufacturers, where a coil spring is wrapped a r o u n d the brake drum; the spring damps one of the two parts which rub together and reduces brake squeal considerably. Noise is usually the least of the problems created by friction; usually, whatever methods are used to reduce the friction to meet other criteria will also be successful in reducing the noise. Reduction of A it-Turbulence Noise Air-turbulence noise may be produced by the shear between a mov31

ing and stationary body of air or by the motion of air across a rough or discontinuous surface. W h e n e v e r air is used as part of a machine system it is advisable from the noise standpoint to reduce its velocity as m u c h as possible without detriment to the operation. Further, all rough surfaces over which the air passes should be eliminated if possible. These two steps will provide as m u c h source noise reduction as is practical f r o m an economic standpoint. W h e r e the air is only exhausted into the atmosphere, a simple muffler can be constructed.

Forced-Vibration Noise
I t is well k n o w n that whenever a machine p a r t vibrates it produces some noise. I f the vibrations are of a large enough a m p l i t u d e and are coupled to a sufficiently large radiating surface, this noise may be audible. T h e control of forced-vibration noise is dependent on t h e elimination of as m u c h of the vibration as possible. I n the case of rotating machinery, this may be done by balancing. Oscillating parts, such as cranks, should be balanced as well as possible. In most cases, however, it is not practical or even possible to eliminate this type of vibration altogether. I n m a n y cases noise reduction is more effective along the transmission paths and at the radiating surface.

Magnetic-Noise Reduction
T h e noise produced by an electromagnetic system can be reduced within the magnet by proper redesign or by reducing the effect of the leakage flux the magnet produces. T h e design of electromagnetic devices is rather involved to be discussed here. T h i s discussion, therefore, will be limited to controlling magnetic noise by reducing the effect of the magnetic leakage flux. T h e most obvious way to reduce this flux is to replace magnetic materials in the machine which are not p a r t o f the desired flux p a t h with non-magnetic materials. I t is also possible to reduce this type of noise generation by proper orientation of the magnetic parts. A magnetic field is usually not uniform, and suitable orientation can reduce the effect of the field on nearby parts.

Air coupling is nothing more than the existence of an acoustic p a t h from any machine p a r t making noise through the air to another machine part or to an observer. T h i s p a t h can usually be best eliminated by placing an enclosure around the noisy part or assembly. T h e enclosure need be only 1/16 in. thick in order to obtain reductions u p to 15 decibels. W h e n using an enclosure it is usually desirable to place some sort of acoustical material on the inside. Otherwise, the h a r d walls of the enclosure would cause the sound-presMechanical Coupling sure level on the inside to rise to Mechanical coupling takes place a point higher than the level at the when two parts of a machine are same spot without an enclosure, thereby reducing the 15-db attenuasecured rigidly together. Vibration which originates in one m e m b e r tion to a negligible amount. Whenpasses to the other with very little ever an enclosure is placed around reduction in amplitude. This type a machine or machine part it is necessary to isolate the enclosure meof coupling can usually be reduced by installing a compliant m e m b e r chanically from the machine. T h i s may be done by using washers, gasbetween the two solid parts. T h e a m o u n t of reduction obtained, as kets, or grommets. I f there were well as the lowest frequency at mechanical contact, the value of which reduction can be obtained, t h e enclosure would in most cases depends on the compliance of the be lost by the transmission of viconnection. T h e softer the connect- brational energy to the enclosure ing material the lower the fre- through mechanical paths; the enquency of isolation and the smaller closure, having a larger surface area the a m o u n t of vibration which gets than the enclosed assembly, would through. A piece of flexible hose radiate even more sound energy than did the part in the first place. in a piping system is an example of this type of coupling reduction. Magnetic Coupling O t h e r c o m m o n examples are viMagnetic coupling may be rebration mounts u n d e r machines duced in a m a n n e r similar to that or machine components, compliant used for reducing the generation gaskets and washers between the of magnetic vibration, that is, by frame and covers of a machine, and removing unnecessary magnetic maeven a joint in a building filled terials from the vicinity of all elecwith tar. All of these devices are tromagnetic sources or paths. Magdesigned to separate mechanically netic metals can be replaced quite one p a r t of a machine or structure satisfactorily with materials such as from another. Modern trolley cars brass, a l u m i n u m , or non-magnetic have a r u b b e r ring between the stainless steel. metal tire and the h u b of the wheel to reduce the a m o u n t of noise Elimination of N o i s e Amplifiers I n most machines and machine transmitted to the body; automoparts, if the noise consisted only of biles have soft r u b b e r tires to isothe original a m o u n t generated, the late the car from the road. Recent p r o b l e m of noise reduction would work indicates that it is quite feasi- be m u c h more simple. Most noises, ble to place a soft r u b b e r ring however, are amplified by resoaround ball bearings even in pre- nances in the machine or machine cision shaft assemblies. Figure 2 structure. W h e n e v e r a noise excitashows several c o m m o n means of re- tion takes place at or near the resducing mechanical coupling. o n a n t frequency of some m e m b e r

R e d u c t i o n of C o u p l i n g T h e noise source is usually coupled to the radiating m e m b e r by one of three media: solid mechanical; air, or acoustic; or magnetic. I n some cases coupling will be made through more than one of these paths. W h e n it has been determined which of these contributes the most to the coupling it will then be possible to attain the greatest noise reduction by removing or reducing the effectiveness of this path. Methods for determining which p a t h contributes the most will be discussed later.

Air Coupling


NOISE Control

of the system, the resonant m e m b e r vibrates with a relatively large amplitude, either generating airborne noise itself or increasing the level of vibration, which further on in the system generates airborne noise. I n m a n y cases it is possible to reduce this noise amplification by changing the frequency of either the source or the resonant m e m b e r so they are not the same. Usually, if there is good reason for the source to operate at or to produce noise at a particular frequency it will be more convenient to change the resonant frequency of the resonant member. I n a simple mechanical system, increasing the stiffness of the part raises the natural frequency, whereas increasing the mass lowers the natural frequency. For example, the natural frequency of a hollow shaft can be changed by increasing or decreasing its length as well as by substantially changing the ratio of outside to inside diameters. T h e natural frequency of a solid shaft can be easily modified by designing a hollow shaft of the same strength but less weight. T h e resonant frequency of the frame members of a machine can be changed drastically by placing a support in the center or at some other point to break u p the standing-wave pattern. Also, several types of tuned absorbers can be used to eliminate certain resonantes.

]TIC. 2. A number of techniques for reducing mechanical coupling.


Reducing Noise Radiation

One of the most i m p o r t a n t factors influencing the radiation of noise is the size of the radiating surface. T h e smaller the surface the

more vibration is needed to generate the same sound level. It is, therefore, desirable to keep the dimensions of machine covers as small as possible. Another characteristic of the radiating surface which is i m p o r t a n t is its internal damping. A sheet of lead is m u c h more highly d a m p e d than a sheet of steel; therefore, a lead cover would radiate less noise energy because more vibrational energy would be required to generate the same a m p l i t u d e at the surface of the cover. I t is usually not practical to use lead as a cover material, but a similar effect may be obtained by increasing the d a m p i n g of the radiating surface. T h i s may be done by applying any of m a n y commercial d a m p i n g compounds such as auto body undercoating. T h e surface m a y also be d a m p e d by using a laminated structure consisting of a sheet of felt or other similar material between two sheets of metal held together by bolts, rivets, or other suitable fasteners. Another means of effectively reducing the radiating surface of a machine is to isolate the machine cover f r o m the machine proper with resilient gaskets and grommets. W h e n using this m e t h o d the radiating area of the machine is actually reduced to that of the machine frame alone rather than the machine frame plus all the covers. I f the cover is serving to reduce airborne transmission of noise from inside to outside, it will be help-

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ful to line the cover or a portion of it with some form of acoustical material. This will reduce the a m o u n t of airborne noise inside the cover and, thereby, the a m o u n t of sound radiated to the listener on the outside.

A Method for Attacking Noise Reduction Problems

I n order to decide which m e t h o d should be used to reduce the noise produced by a particular machine or machine component, it is first necessary to know what the source of the noise is, what the various transmission paths and their relative importance are, and what the noise radiator consists of. At first glance the p r o b l e m of determining these various things may seem quite imposing. However, a simple evaluation tool has been developed which allows the noise reduction engineer to determine these factors quite readily. T h i s evaluation tool is called a noise-flow diagram. Its purpose is to indicate to the engineer how m u c h noise is generated by the source, what paths it takes between the source and the radiator, and what paths it takes between the radiator and the observer. I n order to prepare a noise-flow diagram for a machine or machine section, it is necessary to measure FIG. 3. Noise-flow diagram for an electromagnetic vibrator assembly mounted rigidly inside a box on a table.

acoustic noise at various places t h r o u g h o u t the machine. These measurements should be made with various portions of the machine disconnected so that it will be possible to learn how m u c h noise and vibration travels along each m a j o r path. I n order to better explain how a noise-flow diagram is made, a sketch has been p r e p a r e d showing a simple noise-flow diagram of a vibrator. Figure 3 shows an electromagnetic vibrator assembly m o u n t e d rigidly inside a box. T h e box, in turn, is placed on a table. I n order to determine the noise-flow diagram for this arrangement, it will first be necessary to measure the total sound level of the assembly in this condition (87 db). H a v i n g m a d e this measurement, a second m e a s u r e m e n t can be made with the vibrator and box removed from the table. T h i s second measu r e m e n t will show a lower noise level t h a n the first (83 db) because some of the noise was radiated by the table. If the second measurement is m a d e with the box the same distance from the table as for the first measurement, the air path between the table and the box will be the same but the mechanical path has been removed. Therefore, the reduction in noise level is due to the elimination of the mechanical path between the box and the table. I t will then be possible to determine how m u c h noise passes along this mechanical path. I f a third measurement is made with the box substantially away from the


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87 #',


table it may be found that very little, if any, reduction in noise level takes place. If such is the case, i t may be assumed that the airborne path between the box and the table is not significant. T o experiment further, it might be well to place a sheet of foam r u b b e r between the box and the table so that there is an effective isolation between the two, leaving only the noise radiated by the b o x itself. T h e tabIe m i g h t be considered the cover of a machine, the box being a c o m p o n e n t inside the machine and the vibrator the source. I t is next desirable to determine how the noise gets from the vibrator to the cover of the box and whether the noise reaches the box via the air or the structural path. T h e easiest way to determine this is to remove one of these paths and then measure the noise outside the box. In this case it is simpler to eliminate the structural p a t h by placing a soft piece of foam r u b b e r between the vibrator and the box. T h e vibrator might also be suspended on a string going through a small hole in the top of the box. A m e a s u r e m e n t of noise produced by the vibrator and box u n d e r these conditions (67 db) will show that there is a reduction in level due to the elimination of the structure-borne noise. As a result of this measurement, the a m o u n t of noise which reaches the box by the structural p a t h is known. It is also of interest to find out whether the box amplifies or reduces the airborne noise produced by the vibrator. T o determine this, a noise m e a s u r e m e n t is made without the box covering the vibrator (76 db). In this particular case, noise reduction is effected by placing the cover over the vibrator. H a v i n g m a d e these measurements, it is now possible to construct a noise-flow diagram describing how the noise produced by the vibrator reaches the observer. As shown in Fig. 3, the airborne sound level is 76 db reduced to 67 db by the cover. T h e mechanical p a t h from vibrator to box permits a rise to 83 db and to 87 db if the table a n d box are mechanically coupled, An inspection of this noise-flow diagram will show w h a t methods


NOISE Control



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are most efficient for the reduction of this particular noise. Having determ/ned where noise reduction can be obtained most efficiently, it will be necessary only to follow the methods described above to reduce the noise to an acceptable level. In this case the elimination of the mechanical coupling between the vibrator and box will lower the level from 87 db to 67 db, giving 20 db of reduction. A noise-flow diagram such as this can be made for almost any machine or machine component. These diagrams are really nothing more than a representation of the acoustical paths involved. As stated above, the noise-flow diagram is most easily made when all paths for sound and vibration but one are removed at a certain point in the system. T h e part of the total noise which uses the remaining path to reach the observer is then separated from the noise which reaches the observer through other paths. I n order to increase the reader's familiarity with the noise-flow diagram technfclue, several examples of noise-flow diagrams for common machines and machine components will be described. Using path B, the noise from the source travels through the air inside the frame, vibrating the frame, which, in turn, radiates the noise to the observer. Path C is entirely an air path. T h e noise leaves the source, travels through the air through openings in the frame, and reaches the observer without affecting the frame itself. In very complicated machines there may be many more combinations of noise paths than those described here; however, these complicated paths will be nothing more than combinations of simple paths. W h e n a machine has a very complicated structure, it will often be better to divide the machine into sub-assemblies. Each sub-assembly can then be considered a source and the noise produced by each of these sources measured. W h e n the noisiest sub-assembly has been found it may be necessary to make a separate noise-flow diagram for this subassembly in order to reduce the amount of noise it produces. In order to find which of the three paths shown in Fig. 4 should be attacked first in a noise reduction program, it will be necessary to separate these paths. Path C may be easily eliminated by plugging the holes in the enclosure with almost any convenient material, such as wood plaster or modeling clay. If a substantial reduction results due to the plugging of the holes, it will then be evident that path C is a major contributor to the noise in the room. If the plugging of path C does not indicate a substantial reduction in noise, path A or path B or both may be predominant ones.

FIG. 4. A general noise-flow diagram showing typical noise paths.

While leaving p a t h C plugged, path A might be removed by mechanically disconnecting the source from the frame. This would leave only path B. Instead of removing path A, it might be more convenient in some cases to remove path B for the experiment. This might be done by constructing a simple lined encIosure around the noise source, so that only path A remains. Noise measurements at the listener's position under these conditions will reveal which path is the most effective and how much more effective it is than the next noisiest path. W i t h a knowledge of these facts, noise control may be undertaken in the most economical manner.

Noise-Flow Diagram for SandBlasting Booth

T h e major components of noise produced in a sand-blasting booth result from noise generated at the sand-bIasting nozzle and by the action of the sand on the object being blasted. Provided the nozzle and the work are not tightly coupled to the frame and the machine, the noise paths shown in Fig. 5 are involved. Some noise travels from the nozzle and the work through the air inside the enclosure to the walls of the enclosure. T h e walls are then set into vibration and radiate the sound to the listener. This is shown as path B. Some noise may also travel from the nozzle and work directly to the observer through openings in the enclosure. In order to separate these two paths, it will be necessary to remove one and determine the noise level

General Noise-Flow Diagram

Figure 4 shows a general noiseflow diagram which is c o m m o n to man), machines. T h e noise created at the source reaches the observer by three paths. Path A carries vibration from the source through the frame of the machine. T h e machine frame then radiates noise to the air and thence to the observer.

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B --.ll, WORK




B C -




Fro. 5. Noise-flow diagram for a sand-blasting booth.

Fza. 6. Noise-flow diagram for a tumbling barrel.

as a result of one path only. In this case, it is probably simpler to block up the openings in the sand-blast enclosure. These openings include the hand holes and possibly some form of pressure relief to the room outside. After these holes have been blocked up it will be possible to find out how much noise comes through the wall of the enclosure. If the noise level in the room is reduced substantially, it will then be evident that the holes are the source of most of the noise. If there is no reduction in level when the holes are closed, this will indicate that the largest portion of the noise comes airborne to the enclosure and is then radiated by the enclosure.

der in the center of the d r u m where the shaft does not extend through the barrel. This procedure is admittedly quite difficult, and in this case it would probably be better to remove path A. Path A may be eliminated by lining the inside of the wall of the d r u m so that the work does not contact the wall directly but contacts some soft material which tends to damp the drum and remove the impact of the work hitting the drum. Riveting and Chipping Noise T h e noise produced by riveting and chipping hammers, as well as the noise produced by other impact tooIs, may be represented by a noise-flow diagram such as Fig. 7. Path A1 shows the noise caused by the impact of the tool on the work proceeding from the work to tile air. T o construct a noise-flow diagram the noise passing along path A1 might be reduced to a very low level by reducing the size of the piece of work being impacted or by placing the work on a soft bed of material which will damp the work adequately. This then will give the contribution of noise path A 1. Path C is next most easily reduced by installing a muffler on the tool or by piping the exhaust air away from the tool. T h e only remaining noise will be that from path A2, which is the impact and mechanical noise radiated by the case of the tool itself.

Tumbling-Barrel Noise Figure 6 shows the primary paths involved in the noise generated by a tumbling barrel. T h e noise generated in this operation proceeds either directly from the work and the housing to the air outside or from the work, through the air inside the barrel, through the wall of the barrel to the outside. In this operation it would be quite inconvenient to eliminate path B. However, path B might be reduced by adding sound-absorbent material inside the barrel. This material, conceivably, could be installed as a wrapping around the shaft of the barrel if the shaft extended completely through it or as a cylin36

Gearing Noise Figure 8 shows a noise-flow diagram for a gearing and shaft assembly. T h e noise is generated by the contact between gear teeth and is transmitted to the listener through three major paths. Path C permits the direct radiation of sound from the gear tooth contact points. Path A1 mechanically transmits the noise from the contact points to the hub of the gear, the noise then being radiated by the gear as a whole. Path A2 mechanically transmits the noise from the gears to the shafts, through the bearings to the frame, which radiates it to the air. T h e noise radiated by the gear teeth is always quite small compared with the noise radiated by the whole gear, because the surface area of the teeth is very small in comparison with the total surface area of the gear. It is very difficult to separate these two paths. However, it can be done: the noise radiated by the gear can be reduced by installing a friction damper on the gear or by separating the hub of the gear from the gear teeth by an insulating member, such as a fiber or r u b b e r ring. T h i s type of separation is possible for large-diameter gears. Path A 2 is usually the largest and the one most easily separated. It can easily be almost completely removed by operating the gears and shafts in a small sub-assembly. Since
NOISE Control





FIG. 8. Noise-flow diagram for gearing and shaft assemblies.


FIG. 7. Noise-flow diagram for chipping and riveting hammers.

the radiation of a noise source is proportional to its area, a small shaft assembly will radiate less noise than the machine frame. T h i s will usually leave the noise radiated directly by the gears. T h e noise radiated by the frame can be further reduced by placing an isolated enclosure a r o u n d everything but the gears. E q u a l Paths T h e r e is one general case which requires a little discussion. If there are two paths involved and the removal of one of them makes only a small reduction in sound level (1 to 5 db), this indicates that the two paths are of nearly equal importance. W h e n this is the case it will, of course, be necessary to reduce the noise along both paths in order to effect a substantial reduction of the total machine noise.

T h e outline below has been prepared to sum up the most important noise control measures which may be used at the source and along the transmission and radiation paths. I n most cases the control measures at places other than the source are the same no matter what the source may be. However, it will sometimes be obvious that a certain type of control measure will not be satisfactory for a particular problem.

T h i s s u m m a r y of the factors involved: in the reduction of machinery noise is necessarily brief. Each p r o b l e m encountered is different and, therefore, it is not possible to establish a plan of attack which will be the best in all cases. If those who are faced with problems of machinery noise reduction understand the basic principles involved in the
(Continued on page 62)

Basic Machinery Noise Control Methods

Control at Source Impact--Reduce deceleration, damp source pieces, reduce hardness of impacting surfaces, reduce size of source. Friction--Damp source pieces, reduce hardness of rubbing surfaces, reduce source size, lubricate surfaces. Air Turbulence--Reduce air velocity, remove obstructions, polish rough surfaces. Forced Vibration--Balance parts, reduce acceleration, add tuned dampers, operate off-resonance. Magnetic Noise--Reduce leakage flux, remove nearby magnetic materials, orient magnet for minimum coupling. Control of Transmission and Radiation Air Paths--Enclose source, line enclosures with sound-absorbing materials. Mechanical Paths--Break path with compliant link, reduce resonant effects by damping, alter resonant frequencies of transmission members, isolate enclosures from source. Radiation--Dan~D radiating panels, enclose radiator, reduce size of radiator, perforate radiator to create dipole effect, alter resonant frequencies of radiator.

As shown by these examples, it is usually possible to make an improvised a r r a n g e m e n t of parts of the machine with all noise paths b u t one removed. Noise measurements then m a d e at the listener's position indicate what portion of the noise generated by the source reaches the listener by means of the r e m a i n i n g path. W h e n the noise produced by each single path has been measured in turn, the most profitable area for noise reduction will become very apparent.

November 1957


Noise Reduction in Machinery

(Continued from page 37)

Good-Neighbor Noise Control

(Continued from page 13)

generation, transmission, and reduction of noise they will not find it difficult to solve machinery noise problems, provided a sound-flow diagram is made to indicate which noise paths are the most important. I n this problem, as in m a n y others, the primary requisite for a solution is an understanding of exactly what is taking place.

A. P, G. Peterson and L. L. Beranek,

Handbook of Noise Measurement (General Radio Company, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1954). L. L. Beranek, Acoustics (McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1954). J. P. Den Hartog, Mechanical Vibrations (McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1956, 4th ed.), NOISE CONTROL (bimonthly publication of the Acoustical Society of America, 335 East 45th Street, New York).

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (335 East 45th Street, New York).

the fan. T h i s unit was m o v e d about 60 ft back from that location, and a noise-shielding baffle was placed between it and the residences, as shown in Fig. 5. I n the new location the building as well as the baffle shielded the neighbors from the noise, as did the increase in distance between them. It may be noted from the aerial photograph, Fig. 1, that there is a small building to the right of the m a i n building. T h i s was constructed to house woodworking machinery and other noise-producing units. T u m b l e r s for small parts were transferred to the main building. One of the steps taken to reduce noise prior to the transfer was lining the tumblers with a plastic material. T h i s helped reduce the neighborhood noise. Complaints of loud, careless talking were received occasionally. T h e employees were warned, and signs

were posted to remind them. T w o of these signs, shown in Fig. 4, are on the fence separating the plant from the nearest residences. T h e y read, "Please Be Courteous T o O u r Neighbors. T a l k Softly, and G u a r d Your Language."

T h e plant modifications made by M a r m a n Division--Aeroquip Corporation were not inexpensive, but they have been effective in promoting good-neighborliness and the safety, comfort, and efficiency of employees. T h e problems would have been simpler if residential and m a n u f a c t u r i n g zones h a d not been adjacent to each other, and this should be avoided wherever possible in city planning.

T h e author wishes to acknowledge with thanks the generous cooperation particularly of G. A. Seaver, L. E. Hite, R. H. Patchen, R. M. Doyle, and William Fair, of the company.

Hearing Conservation in Industry

(Continued from page 41)

c. Reduce the ambient noise level, if necessary. I f the noise levels are found to be above the suggested allowable limit, there are three methods of approach for securing a suitable room: (1) Purchase a prefabricated testing booth. Such booths are now commercially available in various styles and sizes from several manufacturers. (2) Construct an acoustically designed room within a room. For best results it is suggested that the services of an acoustical engineer be obtained for consultation. (3) Acoustically treat an existing room. In some instances, it may be possible to obtain the desired noise reduction by this method. It may consist of sealing up cracks around doors and windows, sealing off or acoustically treating ventilation inlets and outlets, and applying sound-absorbing materials to walls, ceiling, and floor. d. Re-test the completed installation.

3. Trained Audiometric Technician. T h e audiometric tests recommended for use in hearing conservation programs can be conducted by audiometric technicians. Needless to say, such technicians should receive special training. Industrial nurses and laboratory technicians can be trained in a relatively short time to perform accurate air conduction measurements of hearing. Part of the training should include practice work with the audiometer u n d e r the supervision of a qualified instructor. Such training may be obtained at audiology clinics conducted by various universities, medical clinics, and private facilities.

3 " T h e Effects of Noise on Man," 16 mm film produced by CBS at the University of California at Los Angeles and the Research Center of tile Subcommittee on Noise in Industry.

4 Guide for Conservation of Hearing in Noise (Subcommittee on Noise in Industry, Committee on Conservation of Hearing, and Research Center, Subcommittee on Noise in Industry, American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology). Obtainable from the Research Center, Subcommittee on Noise in Industry, 111 North Bonnie Brae Street, Los Angeles 26, California. Reprinted in NOISE CONTROL 3, No. 3 (May 1957). G. L. Bonvallet, " T h e measurement of industrial noise," AIHA Quart. 13, 136157 (September 1952). 6 C. R. Williams and Jerome R. Cox, Jr., "Industrial noise measurement--science or art," Proc. T h i r d NNAS (1952). Obtainable from the National Noise Abatement Council, 36 West 46th Street, New York 36, New York.





1 C. Stewart Nash, "A hearing conservation program for industries with noise problems," Hearing News (September 1956). " "Your Ear and Noise," 16 mm film available from the Research Center, Subcommittee on Noise in Industry, 111 North Bonnie Brae Street, Los Angeles 26, California.

(General Radio Company, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1954). s H. B. Karplus and G. L. Bonvallet, "A noise survey of manufacturing industries," AIHA Quart. 14, 235-264 (December 1953). 9 D. E. Wheeler, "Ear protection in industrial noise," AIHA Quart. 14, 54 (March 1953). D. E. Wheeler and Aram Glorig, " T h e industrial hygienist and ear protection," AIHA Quart. 16, 40--45 (March 1955); NOISE CONTROL 2, NO. I, pp. 45-49 (January 1956).


NOISE Control