In the mining industry, employees work with a wide range of machines and equipment with a loud noise output. One of the main sources of environmental noise on mines is the ventilation fans used to circulate air through the mine. These fans are critical to mining operations, supplying miners with refreshing air, diluting and removing contaminants, and preventing machines from overheating.
You can reduce noise exposure by eliminating or treating noise from the source, using protective equipment (PPE), and applying engineering modifications. Some of these options are simply not feasible as mine sites are legally required to have ventilation systems in place, and you cannot simply remove ventilation systems. The best solution is proactive sound attenuation for your underground ventilation system or replacing your current fans with Minetek’s HO Axial Fans.
Reduce your ventilation fan noise
While mining is an essential industry that supplies the raw materials for many products used in our everyday lives, it can also be a major source of noise pollution, impacting local communities. Ventilation systems and fans used in underground mining operations can be incredibly noisy. These fans tend to be high-capacity axial or centrifugal fans, with direct exposure to the outdoors via the air intake or exhaust duct openings, causing significant noise for miners and nearby communities.
Mining companies are legally required to meet certain sound requirements set by state and federal agencies to protect the health and safety of workers and nearby residents. Failure to comply may result in large fines and lasting reputational damage. What truly concerns mining companies is that if their mining site receives too many complaints, it may impact plans for expansions or exploration of newly found ore deposits.
While we cannot completely eliminate the negative effects of mining on local communities, there are steps that mining companies can take to reduce the impact of noise pollution while keeping their fans fully functional and workers safe. For instance, mining companies can invest in sound suppression solutions and create buffer zones between mines and residential areas. This can be quite costly; however, sound attenuation is a more affordable yet equally effective solution.
Attenuate underground ventilation fans
Noise attenuation reduces the sound intensity emitted by machinery and other industrial equipment. Sound attenuation is achieved through various means, one of which is the absorption of the energy from the sound waves and converting it into heat, which reduces the noise level. Various factors play a role in the effectiveness of this technique, including the type of material used for absorption and the angle at which the sound hits the surface.
The most effective materials for sound absorption are those with a high heat capacity, which means they can store more heat energy before breaking down. The angle at which sound waves hit a surface also affects how effectively they are absorbed. A surface that is perpendicular to the direction of the sound wave will absorb more energy than one that is at an oblique angle.
As with most pieces of rotating equipment, fans produce elevated sound levels. Noise radiating from the outlet and the inlet of the centrifugal or axial fan often requires attenuation. As such, inlet and outlet silencers are frequent additions to fan installations.
- Inlet silencers. Inlet silencers reduce the noise of air being drawn into the mining equipment. This type of attenuation is typically accomplished using a specialised muffler or silencer. By reducing the noise of air drawn into the equipment, workers will be protected from exposure to hazardous noise levels.
- Outlet silencers. Outlet silencers reduce the noise of exhaust escaping from the equipment. This type of attenuation is also typically accomplished using a specialised muffler or silencer. By reducing the noise of exhaust escaping from the equipment, workers will be protected from exposure to hazardous noise levels.
Each silencer is designed and built for a specific pressure loss and airflow velocity to meet your exact noise attenuation requirement.
Minetek HO Fans & ventilation systems
At Minetek, we understand the specific ventilation challenges that mining companies face ranging from exposure to contaminants to sound attenuation. Our fans are designed with the mining industry in mind with fan technology engineered from many years of research and development. Minetek fans are among the quietest available, proven to operate 11dBA quieter than comparable twin fans in the same operating conditions and air flow. In underground mining, the effects of unwanted noise can be amplified by the enclosed conditions. Minetek fans are engineered to reduce overall operating noise and potential long-term hearing imapcts.
Our fans are engineered to be durable and long-lasting, even in the most hostile environments. By using steel impellers, we’ve ensured that our fans can withstand blade wear without any issues. As a result, our fans have a much longer lifespan than other fans on the market while also minimising noise and providing the powerful ventilation needed in mines. Minetek’s high-pressure fabricated steel impeller is at the forefront of ventilation technology, operating at pressures previously thought impossible for an axial fan. With on-demand energy efficiency features halving the required power consumption and saving 50% on operating costs. If you’re looking for high-quality, low-noise underground mining fans, look no further than Minetek Air.
At Minetek, we understand that many mining companies have existing ventilation systems, which is why we offer attenuation solutions for your current solution. With over 25 years of experience, Minetek is a globally recognised leader in noise management and underground ventilation solutions. With over 1,500+ installations, our solutions keep your equipment within regulatory and community expectations without compromising machine integrity, airflow, or operating ability.
Minetek’s innovative solutions are specifically designed to meet the needs of the mining industry, and we are committed to providing our customers with equipment that will help them create a safe and productive work environment. Contact us today if you are interested in learning more about our fans or ventilation attenuation solutions.