One of the most common and dangerous hazards that occur within a manufacturing and production facility is the noise level within the plant. Noise is measured in units known as decibels. Decibels are a ratio of the power level of the sound compared to a logarithmic scale. If an employee is an exposed for too long to high levels of noise, they can begin to lose their hearing. That is where the OSHA 29 CFR 1910.95 regulation comes into play.
This OSHA standard doesn’t just provide the protection against noise in the work place but monitoring as well. Companies shall provide at no cost audiometric tests for all employees to ensure that no damage is being to the hearing of all personnel. This program is to be repeated every six months and the results are to be made accessible to all personnel.
Hearing is very important to our everyday lives and must be protected due to the fact that once it is damaged hearing loss cannot be lost be repaired. The OHSA 29 CFR 1910.95 is there to protect and monitor this dangerous hazard in the workplace so that all employees can go home safe and sound.
Here at EXAIR we design all of our products to safe and quite. Weather it is using one of our mufflers for vortex tubes or E-vac’s or one of our Super air nozzles we strive to meet and exceed the OSHA standard. One could also purchase EXAIR’s Digital Sound Level Meter which can give a accurate and responsive reading of how loud your compressed air sources are.
For more information on EXAIR’s Digital Sound Level Meter and any of EXAIR‘s Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
Many manufacturing plants have a strong focus on safety for their workers. One major safety concern that is overlooked is noise. OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has a directive that defines the noise exposure over time; 29CFR 1910.95(a). For an eight-hour day, the maximum noise level is 90 dBA. Hearing loss is irreversible, but it can be preventable. The CDC, Center for Disease Control, and NIOSH, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, report that “approximately 18% of all manufacturing workers have hearing difficulty”1.
EXAIR manufactures engineered products to reduce noise levels in the work environment. We offer Super Air Nozzles and Safety Air Guns for blow-off applications and pneumatic mufflers for discharge exhaust. In this blog, I will cover the different types of EXAIR Mufflers that we offer.
Reclassifying Mufflers are designed to have two functions. They can cut noise levels by 35 dB and remove oil mist from the exhaust air. Cylinders and valves that exhaust pressurized air may have oil in the line to keep the seals from sticking. When exhausted, it can create a fine mist which is dangerous for operators. The Reclassifying Mufflers can reduce the loud noise as well as collect any contamination from the exhaust air.
Sintered Bronze Mufflers are simple in design, cost effective, and easy to install. They have a minimal back pressure to not restrict operations of the pneumatic device. They come in sizes from #10-32 thread to 1-1/2” NPT. For a quick and simple way to reduce noise, the Sintered Bronze Mufflers are in stock for fast delivery.
Straight-Through Mufflers offer a way to reduce noise levels without worrying about clogging. They have an aluminum shell lined with sound absorbing foam, and they can reduce the noise level by 20 dB. EXAIR offers them with ports of ¼” NPT, 3/8” NPT, and ¾” NPT. One side has a female thread while the opposite side will have a male thread. This can allow you to connect other items like hose kits to reduce noise.
Heavy Duty Mufflers are used within aggressive environments. They have an outer aluminum shell with an internal stainless-steel screen. They protect components like valves and cylinders from contamination entering into the part. And, the Heavy Duty Muffler can keep contaminant like rust from being ejected at high speed into the work area. They have a typical noise reduction of 14 dB.
Here is a test for you. If you go and stand in your plant, you can probably hear loud noises coming from your compressed air system. EXAIR has an engineered product to solve most of them. On the Hierarchy of Controls for NIOSH, Personal Protection Equipment, PPE, is the least effective. A better control would be to isolate your operators from the hazard with an engineered product. EXAIR can offer that solution for many of your blow-offs and pneumatic discharges to reduce noise levels. This would include; and not limited to; Super Air Nozzles, Safety Air Guns, Super Air Knives, and Mufflers. If you wish to discuss further the safety improvements that EXAIR can provide, you can contact an Application Engineer. We will be happy to help.
Noise, we all hate it to some extent. From the hustle and bustle of crowed streets to the whine of a jet engine noise has plagued the world for eons leaving people to search for a way to escape into a moment of peace and quiet. The majority of people that I know pack their massive over sized backpacks and head deep into the mountains for days on end to escape the noise sometimes traveling for 10+ miles at a time. But how can we help eliminate this monstrosity that we have created in our manufacturing environments? The answer is mufflers, and no I don’t mean your car muffler (although they do the same thing) I mean compressed air mufflers. Compressed air can be a loud utility inside of a plant environment and exceed the OSHA guidelines for personnel noise exposure. But this noise can easily be mitigated with the use of Intelligent compressed air products and mufflers.
OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.95(a) outlines the total noise exposure to a particular noise level per day and dictates that noise exposure at or above 85 decibels require ear protection. By placing a muffler on the end of the pipe one can reduce the sound level significantly to the point it could be the difference between having to wear ear protection and not having to. With that being said EXAIR offers four different types of mufflers to choose from and they are Reclassifying, Sintered Bronze, Straight-Through, and Heavy Duty.
Reclassifying mufflers offer the best noise reduction at 35 dB and have the added benefit of removing oil mist from the air line. This means that the Reclassifying mufflers are ideal for pneumatic cylinders. Per OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.1000 worker shall not be exposed to more than 5mg/m3 of oil by volume in a 40-hour work week. The patented design of the removable element separates oil from the exhausted air and meets or exceeds the OSHA Standard.
Sintered Bronze Mufflers are an excellent low-cost solution which can be easily installed into your current existing ports. These mufflers also come in the largest variety of different sizes ranging from thread sizes of #10-32 to 1.5” NPT. Also, the Sintered Bronze Mufflers are specifically designed to provide the minimal amount of back pressure and restriction. The main difference between these mufflers and the reclassifying is that the Sintered Bronze Mufflers cannot collect oil out of the exhaust.
If the process air needs to be directly plumbed away from personnel, then the Straight-Through Muffler is the way to go. Straight-Through Mufflers are ideal for situations that require both a threaded inlet and exhaust. In most applications you will see the Straight-Through Muffler pair with our E-Vac vacuum generators or Vortex Tubes to provide noise reduction of the unit. All in all, the Straight-Through Muffler can reduce noise levels up to 20 dB.
Lastly, the Heavy Duty Muffler provides a corrosion resistant aluminum outer shell with a stainless steel inner screen. This design allows the muffler to catch any contaminants such as rust from being ejected potentially causing harm or quality defects. Typically, this muffle will reduce noise levels up to 14 dB.
If you have any questions or want more information on EXAIR’s E-Vacs and their Accessories. Give us a call, we have a team of application engineers ready to answer your questions and recommend a solution for your applications.
Cody Biehle Application Engineer EXAIR Corporation Visit us on the Web Follow me on Twitter Like us on Facebook
EXAIR’s Engineered Air Nozzles and Air Jets provide a superior solution to minimize compressed air usage and reduce noise levels for compressed air blow-off operations.
Air Nozzles and Jets – when compared to commonly used open copper tubes or pipes the compressed air savings can be as high as 80%. With less compressed air, sound levels are greatly reduced. A 10 dBA noise level reduction is typical. All EXAIRAir Nozzles and Jets meet OSHA guidelines for dead end pressure and sound level exposure standards.
EXAIR Nozzles and Jets are designed and manufactured to take advantage of the Coanda (wall attachment of a high velocity fluid) effect which can amplify the airflow up to 25 times. The compressed air exits through the small holes on the nozzle which entrains the surrounding air. The effect from this is a high volume, high velocity blast using less compressed air. EXAIR manufactures many sizes and styles of air nozzles from the smallest, but quite powerful M4 x 0.5 thread Atto Super Air Nozzles to our largest 1-1/4 NPT Super Air Nozzle. We also offer Flat Super Air Nozzles, and the Back Blow style nozzle for cleaning out tubes, pipes, channels or holes from 1/4″ to 16″ in diameter.
The Air Jets are 1/8 NPT threads and blow air out at a right angle from the inlet. They produce a vacuum on the larger diameter side which pulls in surrounding ambient air into the total output flow. Air Jets are available in brass or Type 303 stainless steel. You can choose from a fixed flow style or an adjustable flow style to provide flexibility for your applications. The adjustable flow models have a clear micrometer air gap indicator to assure consistent and accurate results.
All of our Air Nozzles and Jets are engineered to meet or exceed OSHA Standard 1910.24(b) for 30 PSIG dead end pressure, they cannot be dead-ended as there is always a route for the air to escape. In addition, our products are going to meet the OSHA Standard CFR 29 – 1910.95(a) for allowable noise exposure levels.
EXAIR’sSwivel Fittings make it easy to adjust the position of the Air Nozzles and Air Jets. The fittings allow for movement of 25° form the center axis for a total movement of 50°. There are nine different models available and all of them are made from stainless steel
If you would like to discuss blow off, noise levels, dead end pressure or any of EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air® usage solutions, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.