CREATING a safe environment for workers in hazardous conditions is one of the biggest challenges in the mining industry.
Apart from obvious hazards like rock falls, explosives and machinery accidents, vibrations, noise and heat can cause ongoing issues for workers.
Pyrotek is committed to providing noise and heat reduction measures through advanced thermal insulation and vibration damping and isolation.
Its range of barrier and composite products work in conjunction with each other to suit the condition, surface and industry and mitigate the effects of noise and heat on the crew and are ideally suited to mining applications.
Pyrotek sound barriers work by effectively reducing noise at the source.
Technical R&D manager, Michael Kierzkowski, said that testing a variety of composites against different frequencies has produced the optimal technology in noise abatement and products that can substantially reduce machinery noise levels, improve health and safety and provide safe, productive working environments.
Mine spec applications are one of its specialities, with products that can be applied to underground installations and process plants and other high noise or heat installations.
Its noise reduction insulating products can also be applied to village and mine office applications for accommodation and computer housing.
Stansfeld and Matheson’s research in the British Medical Research found that noise interferes in complex task performance, modifies social behaviour and causes annoyance.
The study suggested that occupational and environmental noise exposure is associated with hypertension and can be a general environmental stressor and nuisance.
The World Health Organisation also reports that exposure to prolonged or excessive noise can cause a range of health problems ranging from stress, poor concentration, productivity losses in the workplace, and communication difficulties.
The reports conclude that noise reduction in mining environments and processing plants, as well as recreation areas can therefore be beneficial.
According to the study, removing noise stressors can improve production efficiency, reduce downtime and contribute to reduced retrition in the workplace.
Mr Kierzkowski said that noise can be mitigated by the installation of Pyrotek’s advanced coatings or barriers.
Its various composite and barrier products are optimised to produce maximum noise and thermal minimisation.
“Coating products such as Pyrotek’s specialised anti-condensation Decicoat T35 coating, and water-based vibration damping, Decidamp SP80 are the best way to insulate building and construction,” Mr Kierzkowski said.
Pyrotek manufactures a water-based damping compound that performs over a broad temperature and frequency range, achieving significant reductions of radiated structure-borne noise in the mine-site or processing plant.
To reduce noise from pipes, valves, fan housings, and ductwork, he recommends high-performance composite acoustic lagging products such as Soundlag.
Soundlag works by utilising a highly dense and flexible mass vinyl combined with a decoupling layer which breaks the vibration path between substrate and the mass barrier.
This means the vinyl external wrap remains flexible.
External foil facing offers a fire-resistant covering and an excellent surface to join adjacent sheets which reduces noise breakout from waste-water pipes.
HVAC systems can be lined with the company’s polyester alternative, Sorberpoly 3DNW, to reduce internal duct noise.
In large open areas such as processing plants, self-standing noise enclosures are required.
Pyrotek also manufactures a range of standard mass-loaded vinyl barriers that perform this function.
Its dense, thin, highly-flexible, tear-resistant and high strength qualities can serve as a barrier and can reduce noise transmitting through panel constructions such as plasterboard.
Other noise control products feature flexible, mass-loaded, noise barrier, laminated with an aluminium foil facing.
“Quadzero,for example, having low stiffness, shifts its natural frequency and co-incidence dip phenomenon outside the ‘critical bandwidth’ maintaining the transmission loss performance of the system,” Mr Kierzkowski said.
The dense, mass-barrier attenuates noise from mechanical equipment and engines when transmitted through walls, ceilings and floors.
Tests have revealed that altering the thickness of composite that separates the noise barrier from the structure improves the product’s performance in some frequencies without significant increase in overall weight.
The unique structure of Pyrotek’s signature Sorberbarrier targets specific frequency ranges and is the most versatile product for controlling noise in the marketplace.
The high performance of Sorberbarrier is achieved by its unique construction.
Placing the mass barrier between two layers of absorbing composite, keeps the barrier separate from the structure to which it is bonded, allowing it to remain flexible at all times.
Being lightweight and flexible, Sorberdamp readily conforms to irregular surfaces and practices absorption and vibration damping in one product.
It works effectively in enclosed spaces such as engine bays, air-conditioning ducts and generators.
An area that is often forgotten in mining is the all-important IT department.
Computer server rooms need to be well insulated in a mining environment from both the heat and other elements and the dust.
Without the option of data base storage in the city, a server room must be installed in the office environment, requiring thermal and noise insulation so office workers are not affected by the high level of noise generated.
Engineered high temperature materials address noise control challenges and can be customised to individual applications.
Pyrotek’s unique products include water-based, spray-on coating; high density acoustic and thermal glass wool; lightweight high-performance insulation; acoustic absorbers; vapour barriers; composite multi-layered noise absorber barrier and premium, thermal insulation products.
Heat from engines as well as HVAC systems and other piping can be mitigated with removeable covers for high temperature applications.
“Removable insulation means less down time and is more economic over the long term,” Mr Kierzkowski said.
“Energy costs can be reduced as the blanket can insulate from heat transfer and against noise.
“Other benefits of the thermal blanket is protection of equipment.”
Pyrotek’s Thermobreak insulated blanket is manufactured from physically crosslinked, closed-cell polyolefin composite and is designed to maintain thermal performance when exposed to moisture.
It will combat condensation around air conditioning ducts, walls and ceilings and is also available with a facing to protect it from water, oil and other liquid.
Pyrotek has also looked at improving thermal protection on surfaces which lowers cooling costs in underground sites and processing plants.
Its Decicoat T35 is a water-based spray-on thermal insulation coating specially formulated with anti-condensation and corrosion protection properties.
Sprayable properties mean that a seamless application prevents thermal bridging and bonds flush with substrates around uneven surfaces, making it perfect for mining applications.
It has a low odour and has flame, heat and smoke retardation properties and can regulate surface temperatures caused by condensation.
Kilometres underground, or in the hot dusty condition of the Pilbarra, Pyrotek products are reliable and durable, as well as high performance.
“The light-weight composition of Pyrotek products is ideal for duct and piping insulation and provides substantial weight-savings toenergy and fuel efficiency,” Mr Kierkowski said.
Sorberglass is a high-density glass wool board bonded with a thermosetting resin to provide both thermal and acoustic reduction properties and can be used in self-supporting applications.
It has excellent resistance to fire and is heat resistant to 350°C.
Sorberglass is perfect for self-supporting rigid ducting for HVAC, thermal and acoustic applications required underground.
VOC-free, ultralight polyimide composite Sorbermide is currently one of the lightest and most flexible polyimide composites in the market and provides a unique combination of sound-proofing and thermal insulation performance with high fire properties.
Dedicated to creating safe and efficient workspaces, Pyrotek has revolutionised the noise and heat mitigation industry and continue to work with companies to provide unique solutions to insulation in the mining and other sectors.
Phone number: (1300 928 322; (02) 8868 2000
Website: pyroteknc.com and pyrotek.com