A nickel and copper mine ventilation system, which needed to be in operation twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, was creating excessive noise problems for employees and nearby residents. Not only were noise violations an issue, the condition of the existing ventilation enclosure was a concern. Extensive clean up was needed, including the removal of hazardous material.
Working alongside the mining company’s acoustical consultant, dB Noise Reduction developed a customized industrial silencer solution to manage the noise problems created by the 104 dBA axial fan used for ventilation. In order to address all concerns, the project included the disassembly of the existing steel structure to remove corrugated asbestos paneling. The dB Noise Reduction team was uniquely qualified for this project given their experience as noise reduction specialists with an engineering focus. We were able to coordinate all phases of the mine ventilation system upgrade for a complete turnkey solution.
The initial phase of the project included cleaning up the existing structural steel using a high pressure water blasting process. Environmentally harmful chemicals were not needed and the potential for dust and debris was eliminated. This was especially important because the ventilation fan needed to remain in operation. Following the clean up process, the steel structure was given a protective paint finish.
The removal of the corrugated asbestos was the only phase of the project during which the operation of the ventilation fan had to be stopped, due to the potential for asbestos exposure. Special precautions were required, and the area had to be evacuated. The dB Noise Reduction team contracted with a certified removal team, who completed the work within a day for minimal downtime. The newly cleaned and treated steel structure was improved with the installation of four modular fan intake silencers, two absorptive acoustic walls, and an absorptive acoustic roof.
As a result of the new fan silencer system engineered and installed by the dB Noise Reduction team, the noise level dropped from 104 dBA to 72 dBA. This was a 32 dBA reduction from the original noise level, and comfortably in compliance with all applicable government noise regulations.