Goes to the Animals: Vibration and Noise Control



Goes to the Animals: Vibration and Noise Control

Noise and vibration control is an issue that is much more common than one might originally think. In fact, it can creep up in the most unlikely of places. A good case in point is animal lab environments. Indeed, ALN Magazine recently ran an article titled “Noise & Vibration Considerations for the Animal Lab Environment.” Therein, the publication pointed out, “In the lab animal facility setting, noise, sound, and vibration affect the life cycle, interaction, and behavior of animals.” However, because “the impact of noise, sound, and vibration is a largely undocumented factor in the research,” it’s an often overlooked issue.

“If the sound pressure levels get too high,” the article continues, “there is a negative impact on animals and structures.” Vibration control, however, is just as important to these animals as noise control in that it “is a driving force behind radiated sound.”

Obviously, exposure to noise and vibration can be detrimental to an animal’s hearing, but the risks don’t stop there. “Sound and vibration can [also] have a physical impact on animals.” Even more startling, “Smaller animals are more susceptible to the affects of sound and vibration over time and will adapt or adjust accordingly. In some cases, mutations may result from exposure to undesirable conditions.”

How can animal laboratories mitigate these problems? The magazine notes, “The designers can control items that are constant disturbances that may greatly impact the animal community. Items within the designer’s control include ventilation system design, machinery vibration isolation, wall construction, lighting selection, and computer terminal placement.”

During the design process, animal labs may want to consult with a producer of custom-molded rubber and rubber-to-metal bonded parts for noise and vibration control. A world leader in the creation of rubber molding and rubber-to-metal bonded parts can help to create an environment that is not only safe for the animals being kept there but is also conducive to a healthy work environment for the people who are employed there.

The Vibro-Insulator line of isolators and mounts, in particular, aid in the control of noise, vibration, and shock. Selecting the right type of mount for an individual animal lab’s specific applications can prove tricky, however. That’s why consultation with an expert with reputable qualifications in rubber molding and rubber-to-metal bonding can be very beneficial.

Of course, once professional advice has been obtained, browsing the Vibro-Insulator catalog allows animal labs easy navigation so they can select the correct mount for their application. Rubber Vibro-Insulators come in a variety of styles and sizes to handle most vibration isolation problems. Most of the mount styles are designed to be used in either the compression or shear direction.
Selection of the proper Vibro-Insulator for a specific application boils down to a multi-step mathematical function that an expert can calculate for the lab or into which the lab’s design team can plug the following information:

1. The maximum load that must be supported.
2. The number of mounts supporting the load.
3. The frequency of the disturbing vibration.
4. Any restrictions on the size or style of the mount based on space limitations or assembly considerations.

Carmen Fontana is a Web Services Manager for Western Reserve Internet Services. Karman Rubber is a world leader in vibration control.

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