During operation, construction machines generate high noise levels which can adversely affect the health and the job performance of operators. The noise control techniques currently applied to reduce the noise transmitted into the operator cab are all based on the decrease of the sound pressure level. Merely reducing this noise parameter may be suitable for the compliance with the legislative requirements but, unfortunately, it is not sufficient to improve the subjective human response to noise. The absolute necessity to guarantee comfortable and safe conditions for workers, requires a change of perspective and the identification of different noise control criteria able to combine the reduction of noise levels with that of psychophysical descriptors representing those noise attributes related to the subjective acoustical discomfort. This paper presents the results of a study concerning the “customization” of a methodology based on Sound Quality for the noise control of construction machines. The purpose is to define new hearing-related criteria for the noise control able to guarantee not only reduced noise levels at the operator position but also a reduced annoyance perception.
During work, earth-moving machines generate significant levels of noise and vibration that can be harmful for the operators; therefore the analysis of the noise and vibration conditions at the driving position is of great importance for the risk assessment. Compact loaders have become a pressing challenge as they are extremely hazardous referring to noise and vibration emissions, especially in their crawler version where further relevant noise and vibration are generated by the hard contact between track belt and ground. This paper reports the results of investigations carried out on three crawler compact loaders in different operating conditions. The main purpose was to investigate the noise and vibration values transmitted to the operators in some working conditions and use these data to obtain reliable estimates of the exposure to noise, to whole-body and to hand-arm transmitted vibrations, as well as to evaluate the related risk levels. Vibration signals transmitted to the operator were acquired on the seat and the machine control lever in accordance with the procedures specified in ISO 2631-1 and ISO 5349-1. At the same time, noise signals were acquired at the operator’s ear following the procedure reported in ISO 11201. Vibration signals were also acquired on the cabin floor with the main purpose to evaluate the effectiveness of the machine seats in reducing the vibration transmission. Finally, the noise and vibration exposure risks were evaluated on the basis of the health and safety requirements established in 2003/10/EC and 2002/44/EC Directives.
This paper describes the development phases of a numerical-experimental integrated approach aimed at obtaining sufficiently accurate predictions of the noise field emitted by an external gear pump by means of some vibration measurements on its external casing. Harmonic response methods and vibroacoustic analyses were considered as the main tools of this methodology. FFT acceleration spectra were experimentally acquired only in some positions of a 8.5 cc/rev external gear pump casing for some working conditions and considered as external excitation boundary conditions for a FE quite simplified vibroacoustic model. The emitted noise field was computed considering the pump as a ‘black box’, without taking into account the complex dynamics of the gear tooth meshing process and the consequent fluid pressure and load distribution. Sound power tests, based on sound intensity measurements, as well as sound pressure measurements in some positions around the pump casing were performed for validation purposes. The comparisons between numerical and experimental results confirmed the potentiality of this approach in offering a good compromise between noise prediction accuracy and reduction of experimental and modelling requirements.