Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Reports prepared for the detailed design phase of facilities in the Oil & Gas or Petrochemical industry often recommend the application of acoustic (noise) insulation at specific pipe sections. Those recommendations include the use of acoustic isolation material at pipe support locations, refer Fig.1. The aim for using acoustic isolation supports is to limit noise being transmitted to the supporting structures and surrounding environment. High noise levels may be flow induced due to the presence of various equipment restrictions and discontinuities in gas and steam piping. Specific material requirements and adequate guidelines for designing effective acoustic isolation supports are generally not provided in abovementioned HSE reports and project specifications. The purpose of this paper is to create an awareness of the importance to carry out design of acoustic isolation supports based on proper engineering and to start this activity at an early stage in a project. This paper describes the basic theory of acoustic isolation and specific considerations in the design of pipe supports to minimize transmission of noise to underlying support structures while being effective to carry the piping loads. The paper also briefly describes a test method to determine the dynamic stiffness for isolation material, an important property to assess whether a material can be used for effective isolation. The paper ends with a comparison of properties for some materials and their effectiveness when used to isolate noise.

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