Goodrich Carbon Brake Facility
Spokane - Washington

In Spokane Goodrich manufactures carbon brake pads for use on commercial, regional, business aircraft and military aircraft/helicopters.  SSA was contacted to provide a full service contract to assess, engineer, and work with a contractor to install necessary treatments to lower noise levels throughout their facility.

During our initial meeting with the project manger we learned we had an up-hill battle following their recent experience with a firm that had "taken a lot of measurements but not provided recommendations that lowered the noise levels".  During this morning we were able to tour the facility and take some noise level measurements at areas identified as concerns.

After reviewing the sound level measurements and the number of personnel associated with the different noise exposures, it was decided the best space to start controlling noise would be within the furnace deck where typical noise levels were 93 dB(A).  A goal was established to reduce the noise levels within this space to below 85 dB(A).

The afternoon was spent in the space taking frequency-specific sound level measurements on blowers, compressors, and piping.  These measurements would later be used to design barrier systems for the space.  We also had an opportunity to learn the various stations and rounds that were made during a typical shift at the facility.

As the 7 a.m. shift began the next morning, we were ready in the conference room to issue noise dosimeters to keep personnel.  These were worn during the entire 10-hours to document personnel exposures to noise at key locations within the furnace deck.

As we evaluated the sound data collected within the space and reviewed the space usage we determined the most impact for reducing the noise levels would be to control the noise sources for the upper furnace deck to the lower deck.  The noise generated by equipment on the upper deck had both a direct path of sound to the lower level and a reflected path off of the ceiling.  Because this space did not have active stations within the facility, this space could be isolated and improve the noise dosage personnel were receiving significantly.

The outline of our recommendations for the upper deck included:

1.   Enclose the upper level of the furnace deck on both sides with flexible barrier material Type Sound Seal BBC-13-2 with 2 fiberglass absorption on both sides.  Material weight 1.5 lbs/sqft, material trimmed to fit height, in 4 ft sections with Velcro on both sides to provide an airtight seal.  Wrap specific piping and valves.

2.   Install baffles on the existing ceiling to prevent the reflective path to the lower deck.  Use 2 x 4 acoustical baffles 2 thick.  The panels made out of a 2 fiberglass core encapsulated in a white reinforced polyester film. 

The results of these treatments met all elements of our goals achieving 82 dB(A).  Personnel were re-tested during the same shift experiencing an average of a 10 decibel reduction.

Since the completion of this space three more space have been though the same process, all with different issues, but all with the same results!

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