Normal conversation is about 45 decibels. Various conveyors operate at different decibel levels, depending on type, construction, use with other equipment and placement in a facility. Many produce noise in the mid-70s to low-80s decibel range, according to material-handling sources. OSHA’s noise limit is 85 decibels at ear level.
The conveyor at George Bush Airport was emitting noise levels that, while not high enough to be damaging to the staff’s hearing, were high enough to interfere with normal levels of conversation.
Some acoustical barriers prevent transmission of sound between the noise source and the employee, but the sound is reflected back toward the source instead of being absorbed. As the heavy, limp Acoustiblok material vibrates from the sound, it actually “transforms” the acoustical energy into “inaudible friction energy.”
Airport officials all over the world are working to find ways to reduce high noise levels in their terminals. The new, $150 million Sikhuphe International Airport in the Kingdom of Swaziland in southern Africa addressed the problem in advance by designing Acoustiblok into the terminal’s construction.
Acoustiblok has been proven effective in reducing industrial and transportation noise exposure. This type of noise often exceeds limits recommended by the World Health Organization and contributes to noise-induced hearing loss.
Adding a 3mm layer of the UL-approved Acoustiblok increases a standard stud wall’s soundproofing factor by more than 98-percent. Lead, previously considered the best soundproofing, works on precisely the same basis with the same STC sound reduction rating.