Vibration Isolation and Floating Floors

Vibration Isolation / Floating Floors
Floating floors, floating ceilings, and floating walls refers to a means of vibrationally isolating these structures from the surrounding construction.

With over 50 years of knowledge and experience in vibration isolation, Kinetics Noise Control enables building owners to install complex heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems without the worry of noise and vibration problems.

Kinetics provides both the technical assistance in the selection and specification of a tailor-made isolation system and the vibration isolation products to meet the required specifications of the project.

Kinetics Noise Control vibration isolation products have been used to reduce the transmission of noise and vibration from mechanical equipment onto a building structure, support, isolate and suspend mechanical equipment, and to protect equipment from damage during seismic activity.

In many cases, buyers of production machinery give little thought to vibration and shock until after the equipment they have purchased is installed and running in their plants. At that point, if there is a problem with shaking floors and vibrating building members, they begin to search around for some way to eliminate it. Fortunately, even then it’s not too late to do something about the problem.

But how much simpler - and more economical - it would be to check with a vibration and shock control specialist when machinery is first ordered. Methods used to control machinegenerated shock and vibrations are relatively simple and easy to understand.   The secret is isolation, which is easier to accomplish when equipment is being installed than after it is in place.

Vibration and shock are caused by different kinds of machinery actions. Vibration is a sustained reaction produced by rotating or reciprocating equipment, and usually occurs in the operating range from 300 to 7000 cycles/min. Rotating types of production machinery which may be prone to vibration include boring and drilling machines, lathes, air compressors, engine-driven equipment, etc.

Shock, on the other hand, is caused by reciprocating action in machines that operate at speeds up to about 600 strokes/min. Shock is inherent in machines such as presses, forges, shears, etc., and usually is the most severe of the two problems, because so much energy is put into the building structure with each stroke.

Vibration is a two-way problem. First, there is machine-induced vibration which must be prevented from transmitting into the supporting building structure.

Second, the building structure itself may vibrate due to any number of causes. This can be a problem when attempting to use a precision piece of equipment, such as inspection device, the accuracy of which would be impaired if building vibration were above a certain magnitude. In either case, the goal is to isolate the vibration by placing resilient materials between the machine and the building, or between the building and the precision equipment.

Key is material selection. Selection of the correct type of resilient material is the key to proper isolation to minimize the transmission of vibration. Parameters for selecting the correct material are straightforward and include: (1) deciding on the degree of isolation desired and (2) knowing the operating speed (disturbing frequency) of the vibration-producing machine. With these two factors, the natural frequency of the isolation material needed to do the job can be determined.

Actually, selection of a vibration isolating material with the desired natural frequency is as simple as looking on a chart. Companies such as Kinetics have developed selection guides for most kinds of production equipment. All the owner needs to know is the make of the machine and the model number in order to determine the recommended isolator.

Vibration Isolation. Effectiveness of isolators in providing vibration reduction is indicated by the transmissibility of the system.  When the system is excited at its natural frequency, the system will be in resonance; the excitation forces will be amplified rather than reduced. Therefore, it is mandatory to select the proper isolator so that natural frequencies of the structure will be excited as little as possible in service and not coincide with any critical frequencies of the equipment.

Please Contact Us for assistance or Call us at 262-367-6700 for more information!

Floating Floors Case Study

Few of the more than 50,000 soldiers, dependents and retirees who are served by the $43 million Ft. Stewart, Georgia, Composite Health Facility, ever know that the quiet hospital environment is due in part to a unique acoustical composite floor system manufactured and installed by Kinetics Noise Control.

As the architects and mechanical engineers evaluated potential vibration and noise problems caused by the large heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment, it became apparent that some form of acoustical treatment was necessary to control the transmission of noise into patient rooms above and below the hospital’s mechanical equipment rooms.

Kinetics’ field representative Phil Briggs of Thermal Recovery Systems, Atlanta, Georgia, was called in to review the problem. His preliminary conclusions were forwarded by the project’s mechanical engineer to Richard Boner, an acoustical consultant from Austin, Texas. Boner reviewed the accumulated acoustical data and confirmed Kinetics’ conclusions.

Of the options available, Briggs recommended Kinetics Model RIM “floating floor” system, a unique application of Kinetics problem-solving expertise.

Ideally suited to reduce the transmission of airborne noise, Kinetics’ floating floor system consists of a secondary concrete slab supported off the structure by permanently resilient, precompressed, molded fiberglass pads. 

Please Contact Us for assistance or Call us at 262-367-6700 for more information!

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