Firestone Airmounts from Air Springs Supply are being used to address noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) problems in general industrial applications.

These industrial isolators provided effective service when deployed under a giant military sonar testing tank in Australia to keep out noise, vibration and harshness. The Firestone Airmounts suspended the towering sonar test tank containing nearly 500 tonnes of water for more than 15 years at Plessey in Sydney before passing into honourable retirement having continuously achieved an isolation efficiency of 99.7 per cent at 1500 CPM (cycles per minute).

Airmounts can be used in applications as diverse as suspending tanks, pressure vessels and liquid containers, through to suspension of process control technology including mixing tanks and computer and production automation equipment, either permanently inflated or adjusted by standard factory 7 bar (100 psi) compressed air.

The industrial isolators can also be used to isolate the source of the NVH, suspending compressors, vibrating screens, bin hoppers, packers, blowers and stamping equipment that pass disruptive impacts into the area surrounding them.

Engineered from tough fabric-reinforced rubber, Airmounts are identical in construction to the Airride air springs used in the suspensions of heavy trucks seen every day on Australian roads and the ubiquitous Airstrike actuators used in applications such as industrial metal stamping presses and conveyors.

Air Springs Supply National Sales and Marketing Manager Mr James Maslin points out simplicity, durability and sustained high performance as the primary advantages of the Airmounts.

Containing no internal moving parts to break or wear, Airmount isolators range from the tiny palm-sized 1M1A model, which features a 35mm stroke, minimum (collapsed) height of less than 50mm and isolation efficiency of 97.8 per cent at 1500 cycles a minute, to huge triple- convoluted Model 348-3 isolators, measuring a metre in diameter, supporting nearly 40,000kg and achieving isolation efficiencies of 99.3 per cent.

The enormously strong Airmounts have been used to permanently suspend an entire swimming pool in a luxury Sydney hotel so the paying guests downstairs would not be startled by the sounds of people using the pool. They have also been used to suspend four 16-tonne 2000kV diesel emergency generators only metres above the heads of top-level executives working in the highest floors of the 65-level Governor Phillip Tower. Big generators can produce up to 140dB in a confined space, when they are being tested, so the Airmounts had to produce a level of just 35-40dB in the floor immediately below, equivalent to the quietness of a library.

According to Mr Maslin, nuisance sources of NVH can all be simply and permanently isolated to protect their surroundings, or delicate equipment can be isolated to protect it from the nuisances.