Reducing noise emissions in surface top hammer drilling

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology introduces two new solutions to reduce noise emissions in surface top hammer drilling. These latest options for Ranger DXi series and Dino DC410Ri surface drill rigs help to mitigate harmful noise at construction sites and quarries.

The main source of noise from a top hammer drill rig is the rock drill itself, which accounts for up to 75% of the total sound power level from a drill rig, explained Sandvik. Both new solutions from the company reduce the sound level around the drill rig by isolating the rock drill and rod handling system inside a noise-suppressing structure. Such solutions are especially effective at suppressing the most disturbing drilling noise frequencies, between 2,500 and 10,000 Hz.

One of them is NoiseGuard-DXi, which reduces noise emissions from Ranger DXi series drill rigs (maximum 27 kW rock drill, recommended hole diameter 51-127 mm) designed for construction applications and quarries. NoiseGuard-DXi is a fully enclosed structure that provides up to −12.9 dB noise reduction in A-weighted sound pressure within a 16-m radius of the rig. In this measuring distance, the noise reduction compared to unmitigated sound pressure is up to 95%. The NoiseGuard-DXi option comes with a camera system that provides visually aided drilling when the structure doors are closed. Additionally, it has a single-bolt dismantling design for fast and easy maintenance on the feed system.

The other solution is NoiseShield-DC - a simple, compact solution for the smaller, cabinless Dino DC410Ri drill rigs (14 kW rock drill, recommended hole diameter 51–76 mm) that excel in urban worksites. While not fully enclosed, NoiseShield-DC offers up to a −7.5 dB reduction in A-weighted sound pressure by directing the drilling noise upwards through an open top, away from the operator and surrounding areas. This reduction translates to an 82% mitigation in noise pressure within a 16-m radius of the drill rig.

Sandvik’s new noise-reduction solutions are not only beneficial to the surrounding areas, but they also minimise operators’ and worksite personnel’s exposure to harmful noise levels, thus providing a more comfortable working environment. For noise reduction for the classic Ranger DX series drill rigs, an existing solution called NoiseGuard-DX has been offered in the market for several years.

According to Sandvik, requirements to limit noise from drilling machinery stem from several international and national sources, such as EU directives, various safety standards, occupational health and safety legislation and environmental regulations. The measurements above represent the A-weighted sound pressure (LpAd) levels according to the EN 16228-1 safety standard, which applies the methods standardised in SFS EN ISO 3744:2010 for determining the sound power level of a noise source.