Reducing machinery noise can guard against hearing loss
Exposure to noise in the workplace is Australia’s most common preventable cause of hearing loss.
In fact, Safe Work Australia has estimated that one million employees may be exposed to hazardous levels of noise. Damage to hearing can occur when levels are higher than 85 decibels, which is about the same volume as heavy traffic.
Noise is a major safety hazard in industrial and resources processing, production automation and transport logistics plants, where the sound of heavy materials handling machinery operating can distract attention from the job in hand and drown out the sound of malfunctioning machines, alarm signals or a warning shout.
“One highly effective way in which the noise problem can be addressed at its root cause (rather than through hearing protective devices, valuable though they are) is in the substitution of engineering plastics in application areas where quiet running, low weight and low friction are advantageous,” said Cut To Size Plastics NSW Manager Pat Flood.
One of the materials increasingly substituting for metals includes the Wearlon family of nylon polymers, from PA6 semi-crystalline polyamides to PA12, which is used where greater shock loads and vibrations damping efficiency are required in rollers, gears and pinions.
Wearlon nylon is used across many industries to reduce noise and reduce machinery rail wear, with applications including food and beverage, mineral processing, agribusiness materials handling and industries that want to avoid corrosion or the need to use lubricants that can contaminate production.
Nylon rollers can provide high wear resistance, low friction and lower noise where a part slides over the roller surface. Nylon rollers can also provide savings in maintenance costs and, being non-corrosive, offer all-weather performance in outside installations, including mineral processing plants and logistics operations. Uses include beam trolley rollers, monorail rollers and turntable rollers, as well as vital parts on conveyors and belts.
“Cast nylon trunnion wheels can also be used to reduce plant operation noise and reduce wear on rotating barrels,” said Flood.
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