Air Springs Supply advises that noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) issues in industrial and commercial buildings can be eliminated by cutting the problem off at its source.

Companies can save a lot of money by considering relatively inexpensive ways to isolate the source of the NVH trouble using simple inflatable or solid rubber mounts instead of investing in extensive sound-deadening materials or requiring staff to wear personal protection equipment in affected areas.

Inflatable Airmount air springs and complementary solid engineered fabric and rubber Marsh Mellow springs available from Air Springs Supply are already proven globally in applications ranging from extreme isolation of operating tables in hospitals, and computer and electronics installations, through to outstandingly effective dampening of the din and shaking created by huge shakers, crushers, metal stamping, compressors and generators in industrial plant.

These solutions have helped buildings achieve isolation efficiencies of up to 99 per cent for their NVH sources ranging from emergency electricity generators and HVAC plants in high-rises through to a swimming pool in an exclusive Australian hotel where the entire pool was mounted on air springs to ensure its glassy surface was isolated from disruptive trains rumbling by in nearby tunnels and other heavy vehicle traffic. The pool application also prevented the sounds of diving and aquatic activities from transmitting through to the hotel rooms below.

James Maslin, National Marketing Manager for isolation and actuation specialist Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, observes that it simply makes sense to consider prevention before cure to avoid NVH issues. Air Springs Supply is the long established national distributor of Firestone industrial products.

A common problem in industrial and commercial buildings, NVH is not only a workplace hazard to the human occupants of buildings, disrupting employee comfort and safety and increasing employer liability, but can also impact the daily function of instruments and computerised building systems, including automation systems and process control and materials handling systems.

According to Mr Maslin, the environmental NVH problem was not seen as a threat many years ago by building specifiers and their clients, with the issue considered as typical background noise in just about every industrial plant or commercial building.

However, with increasing awareness over the last decade about the health issues associated with NVH, as well as heavy dependence on electronic equipment at industrial and commercial workplaces, buildings are required to ensure a quieter environment free of vibration and shock to protect both workers and machines.

Air Springs has responded to the industry need for simple, reliable and highly efficient ways to tackle NVH by offering an extensive range of inflatable Airmount isolators.

Airmounts are available in an expanded range of sizes from palm-sized to nearly a metre across to individually support weights extending from under 100kg up to more than 40,000kg, which have been used as actuators to lift mining draglines for maintenance.

Mr Maslin explains that the simple isolators contain no internal moving parts to wear, or metal springs or surfaces to corrode or break. The Airmounts are extraordinarily tough, being manufactured by Firestone in exactly the same way as the air springs used in the suspensions of luxury coaches, heavy trucks and express trains such as NSW’s XPTs and France’s TGVs.

Air Springs Supply’s single, double and triple-convoluted Airmount isolators as well as rolling sleeve models and complementary Marsh Mellow isolators have been refined to achieve isolation efficiencies exceeding 99 per cent in some instances. The Airmounts are carefully constructed and permanently installed to deliver a range of performance requirements across a very broad spectrum of needs from suspension of a 30kg computerised control panel to total suspension of the entire 100-tonne bulk of a huge motor, crusher, press or production line, and even entire generators and HVAC plants in commercial buildings.

Marsh Mellow springs, also engineered by Firestone and working complementary to Airmounts, are tubular isolators comprising of a solid rubber core surrounded by bias layers of fabric engineered to the needs of particular applications. Simpler in design and function than Airmounts, Marsh Mellows don’t even need to be inflated and are one of the latest isolation techniques to achieve international acceptance.

Marsh Mellow springs are capable of solving industrial shock and vibration isolation problems arising out of the use of metal spring isolation including noise, short spring life, corrosion, abrasion, bottoming-out and high maintenance costs with lengthy downtime.