Acoustic Blanket Insulation: Keeping Cooling Equipment Quiet (and Safe)

Spring is finally here and summer will be here before we know it—and we’re sure there are many people around the country who are very happy about that! Rising temperatures mean there are many things to look forward to. What is also means, though, is that buildings of all sizes will be counting on their air conditioning units to keep visitors and occupants cool and comfortable.

While air conditioners offer many advantages in the summer months, one of the biggest 341 complaints is the noise they generate. Unfortunately with the cooling powers of ACs, unpleasant noise is often an accompaniment. Sometimes the noise levels extend beyond unpleasant to dangerous, as noise above a certain decibel level is proven to be harmful and disruptive.

Luckily, this isn’t a problem people just have to deal with. In fact, using our Acoustic Blanket Insulation is one way to control the noise from the compressors and economizers associated with large chiller units.

These blankets are customized to your exact size and shape requirements, and are both removable and reusable. They’re expertly constructed of high-quality chemical-resistant Teflon fiberglass cloth on both the interior and exterior, with high density fiberglass mat and barium sulfate loaded vinyl. The CAD technology used in the design process further ensures quality and versatility, so that any surface, no matter how irregular, can be insulated.

Other advantages include:339

  • Easy installation
  • Vibration resistant
  • Safe—ideal replacement for dangerous Asbestos
  • Significant, proven noise reduction

Of course, large liquid chillers aren’t the only machines that are insulated with these unique blankets. Other applications include gear box casings, compressor housings, ejectors, exhaust ducting, pressure reducing valves, and more. No matter how many components or what the size, these acoustic blanket insulations make the environment safer and more pleasant.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or to find out how this product can be customized to your needs.

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Controlling and Eliminating Community Noise

In a document about community noise, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that proven adverse effects of noise on a community or population include hearing impairment, interference with speech communication, disturbance of rest and sleep, psychophysiological, mental-health and performance effects, effects on residential behavior, and more.

The sources of community noise most commonly are aircrafts/airports, trains, highways, 256px-Mute_Icon.svgsewage plants, power plants, and industrial machinery—all of which are prevalent in most developed areas of the country and the world. Thankfully, there are solutions that can help mitigate the risks associated with such noise, and lessen the disturbance on the surrounding community.

Each of these sources can be treated with a wide range of solutions that are specially-designed for noise control, including Moduline Structures, Noise-Lock Doors, Walls, Barriers, Enclosures, Ventilation Silencers, and more. These systems can easily be integrated into the architecture and existing structures, no matter what the material.

Some of our many specific products that address these needs include:

  • Power-Flow Silencers: These address the noise related to gas turbines, steel mills, wind tunnels, power plants, cooling towers, ventilation fans, and much more.
  • Moduline Structures: These structures enclose the noise source (machinery, pumps, motors, etc.), with the design specific to the noise-level requirements. They are used for a range of industrial machinery, including compressors, transformers, motors, pumps, and truck docks, as well as trains, buses, light rail vehicles, etc.
  • Noishield Sound Barriers: Built and designed to easily integrate into the environment, these can be mounted on bridges, rooftops, or on the ground, and can reduce noise ranging from trains to highways to electrical transformers and gas turbine power plants.

These are just a small sampling of the many solutions to community noise. Each can be tailored to exact needs, and before a solution is offered, we will evaluate the noise sources and their impact on the community. We then offer solutions that are both tailored for effectiveness, and are cost-effective, minimizing adverse community reaction.

If you’d like to learn more about the specific products listed above, or the countless others that meet community noise needs, or have any questions, contact us today.


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Designing Noise Enclosures with Proper Ventilation

Noise enclosures are one of the best ways to combat the bothersome noise associated with industrial machinery. Untreated, the surrounding area becomes dangerous to work due to the excessive noise.

Noise enclosures, quite simply, enclose the noise source or the noise receivers (operators, silencer3_lgassembly people, etc.). But as simple as it sounds, the design of these enclosures must take into account several factors, including egress, maintenance access, the possibility of future expansion and ventilation.

Almost every piece of equipment in a manufacturing facility generates heat.  That heat can reduce the effectiveness of the machinery and even shorten its life.  Designing proper ventilation for an enclosure is vital.

To allow for air flow while maintaining the noise reduction achieved with the enclosure, we utilize silenced ventilation systems. These systems can be as simple as a blower system that moves existing plant air through the enclosure, or as complex as a separate HVAC system. Silencers placed on the intake and exhaust will prevent the passage of noise in or out of the enclosure, while addressing the need for ventilation to prevent overheating.  Silencers are an acoustically treated segment of ductwork designed to lower the noise while allowing the air to pass through.

Silencers are regularly installed in the buildings ducts, effectively reducing the noise from fans, blowers, etc. as they pass through the duct work.  Both circular and rectangular silencers are standard.

We have a variety of products available, depending on your needs. Check out our website for detailed information, and contact us with any questions.


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Acoustical Test Facilities: What are They, and How do They Work?

What is noise?

Noise can be described as any unwanted sound, whether harmful or not. Sometimes it is hazardous, and can cause damage. Other times it is simply disturbing or interfering, generally unwanted. It’s what we specialize in—or more specifically, what we specialize in getting rid of.

We have many products designed to control and eliminate unwanted noise in a variety of  054 environments, from enclosures and curtains to barrier walls and sound-proof studios. But how do we ensure these measures work for you? Through controlled, thorough testing of all of our products.

Our testing is conducted in independent acoustical test facilities. The idea behind these 051testing facilities is to provide a space where reproducible testing can be done. They are constructed for testing a range of sound control measures, including sound control curtains, poured concrete enclosures, and more.

When designing the acoustic testing facility, we need to know what test or standard our client is looking to achieve. If no such test or standard exists, we will work with the client to determine what the desired sound level is needed for the enclosure. As a general rule, we try to have the ambient sound level in the test enclosure be 10 dB lower than the product being tested. This ensures we are measuring the sound from the actual product, and not sounds from outside the enclosure, giving an accurate reading.

There are a variety of acoustical test facilities. They include:

  • Full Anechoic Chambers069
  • Hemi-Anechoic Chambers
  • Reverberation Rooms
  • Predictable Field Rooms
  • Quiet Rooms
  • Listening Rooms
  • Audiometric Test Rooms

At O’Neill Engineered Systems, we can work closely with any client to not only help them understand their needs, but to completely design and build an acoustic test facility to meet these needs. Allow us to use our experience to help create the right acoustic test facilities for your needs.

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Product Spotlight: Acoustical Fabric Wrapped Panels

Every day, we at O’Neill Engineered Systems are approached by current and prospective clients in need of noise control solutions. We realize that every customer’s needs are unique and important, and therefore, we’re tasked with finding the right solution for them. Luckily, we love this—we’re noise control experts with a passion for problem-solving!Uof_Chicago_Wedges_2

One of the most common noise control solutions we employ is the acoustical fabric   wrapped panel. Put simply, a resin hardened board of fiber glass is made into a sheet up to 4 feet wide by 10 feet long, and then wrapped in fabrics or vinyl coverings.

The panels themselves are designed to absorb the reverberant sound in the air, essentially eliminating the echo which interferes with clarity. As a result, in a space with excessive echoes, you cannot hear the sound (a speaker, a musician, an instrument, etc.). When installed in an appropriate quantity, the sounds are crystal clear.Hines_VA_Panels

All of the materials we use are Class A for fire and smoke control, keeping them as safe as they are effective at noise control.  The panels are typically 1 to 4 inches thick, and are available in many different edge shapes and conditions.

What are just some of the many spaces that can benefit from these acoustical fabric wrapped panels? Lobbies, conference rooms, break rooms, shop floors, churches and worship halls, recording studios, and so many more.  And don’t worry—no need for you to figure out how much absorption is necessary. We can do that for you. We’ll perform a simple evaluation on your space, and make the appropriate recommendations.

Take a look at the visually-appealing panels on our website, and contact us with any questions.

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Common Noise Control Questions Answered

Most of the people who come to us in need of noise control know they need the noise to be significantly reduced. They don’t necessarily know how to do this, what their options are, or how noise control actually works. They have many questions, and luckily, we have those answers.

While we’re happy to answer each customer’s questions individually, we also thought we’d address some of the more common ones here.

One of the most common questions is “How does sound absorption actually work?”  The sound waves strike surfaces of a room (walls, floors, ceiling) and they either absorbed or reflected back into the room.

When a sound wave strikes acoustical material, the sound energy is converted to heat.  The sound absorbing material is designed to absorb and dissipate that heat.

How much noise can actually be reduced?  When treating a noise problem with absorption we can expect a maximum reduction of 8-10 dB-A. This is a meaningful reduction as the human ear perceives a 10 dB reduction as cutting the noise in half.  We can also create barrier walls or full enclosures to block or contain noise.  Typical noise reduction for a barrier wall will be 10 to 20 dB-A depending on the materials used and the size of the wall. A sound enclosure can reduce noise by as much as 30 dB-A or more. The client’s needs determine the solution offered.

If you have more questions or want to know what’s best for your noise control needs? Contact us, we’re happy to help!

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Buying American-Made: It Matters…and Makes Sense

Following years of outsourcing production and labor and a period of thinking “cheaper is better”, the tide is now turning and something great is happening for American manufacturing: It’s coming back.

Businesses large and small are returning to the U.S., and American consumers are also following suit—more and more are showing loyalty to American-made products. According to this article, “More people are taking a moment to flip over an item or fish for a label and ask, is it ‘Made in the USA?’”American_Flags

There are multiple reasons for this: 1) American-made products are associated with higher quality, 2) Americans are realizing that supporting our country’s manufacturers is good for the economy, 3) buying American means helping to create and keep jobs here at home. It all simply makes sense.

We at O’Neill Engineered Systems are, and always have been, Made in the USA. The companies we represent have always been based in the U.S., and we like to keep it that way. We are proud and happy to support the national and local economies, and believe in the value of American products.

With that in mind, we will be joining American Made Matters® (AMM) and the rest of the country on November 19 to celebrate the first annual American Made Matters Day. According to AMM, this day is twofold: to encourage “consumers to buy at least one American-made product to show their support for American manufacturing” and to “kick-off a movement encouraging Americans to buy products made in America throughout the upcoming holiday shopping season.”

As an organization dedicated to showcasing the importance of buying American products, AMM hopes to further their work—and in turn, the economy and job market—through this event. We look forward to celebrating it, and encourage everyone to do the same.


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