The famous line from the 1993 Car-X commercial “RATTLE RATTLE THUNDER CLATTER BOOM BOOM BOOM”** is a heads up for some people that improvements can be made to reduce noise. For engineers and operators these sounds on a manufacturing line or in a production environment are a trigger for to “investigate” the cause and dig into the field of tribology. In the field of engineered plastics, these noises can also be an opportunity to provide machined parts from thermoplastics as a solution for noise reduction and improved efficiency!
On the floor of production and manufacturing facility environments loud noises are an OSHA concern as they can be an issue for the health and safety of workers. In these situations, parts machined from thermoplastics can provide an design option that can greatly reduce noise levels and improve conditions. In addition, machined plastics can bring about increased efficiencies that reduce downtime.
“As with any occupational hazard, control technology should aim at reducing noise to acceptable levels by action on the work environment. Such action involves the implementation of any measure that will reduce noise being generated, and/or will reduce the noise transmission through the air or through the structure of the workplace. Such measures include modifications of the machinery”
Engineering Noise Control
Professor Colin H. Hansen & Dr Berenice I.F. Goelzer
Department of Mechanical Engineering – World Health Organization
(You can get a .pdf of their complete article on the topic of acoustics here)
Have you considered Thermoplastics, to reduce that noise and improve operational efficiency?
Key Characteristics of Plastic Components:
• Low weight – Easier handling, reduction in drive power required, improved lifting capacity
• Excellent price/performance ratio – Extended part life due to very high wear resistance
• Many are self-lubricating – Maintenance requirements can be reduced or eliminated
• Reduction of equipment noise and vibration
• Mating parts are not worn or damaged
• High mechanical strength, hardness and stiffness
• Impact strength even at low temperatures-cryogenic
• High mechanical dampening capacity
• Excellent fatigue resistance
• Good sliding and emergency running properties
• Outstanding abrasion resistance
• Dimensional stability and weather resistance
• Broad chemical resistance
• Will not corrode
Here are a few links to some other sources where you can learn more about the use of engineered plastics to help reduce noise and improve efficiency, plus a little link just for fun – in case you have never seen the 1993 commercial.
Connect with Vitrex on LinkedIn to see how a change to machined parts from PEEK helped to reduce noise caused by wind turbines.
Read more about tribology in one of an earlier AIN Plastics blog post by AIN Industry Segment Manager for DuPont™ Vespel® Paul Hanson.
If you don’t know the 1993 commercial we are referring to, no worries, you can find it on YouTube!
ASME (Americann Society of Mechanical Engineers) also has an excellent article that details the benefits many are finding as they replace metal parts with thermoplastic parts.
Finding the right thermoplastic for machined parts is not always a simple straight forward task of looking online or in a catalog. Today’s engineered plastics include thousands of options and many are specially designed with high wear applications in mind like bearing, bushings and more. As a provider of engineered plastic solutions we look to assist you in finding that just right plastic material that will meet the application specific needs and be the best possible value. In the end you may find benefits beyond noise reduction by changing from metal to plastic parts. If you have questions please contact me.
Industry Segment Manager
thyssenkrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division
Kendall Montague is a veteran of the plastics industry with 16+ years experience working with OEM and MRO engineers assisting in developing thermoplastics material selection as well as custom design and fabrication using CNC equipment.