Acoustic Protection

Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) is an important factor in todays work environment. The Oil&Gas industry has some challenging factors to consider. The installations offshore are in a confined and limited space, the processes are often very noisy due to high pressure in pipes and heavy machinery being operated. The working regulation in noisy environment limits how long personnel can work in the area, depending on the noise level. This could result in in efficient work processes as the amount of available personnel offshore is limited due to high cost, limited bed and heli- transport capacity. Reducing the noise levels by insulation are therefore often a necessity and increases cost efficiency as workers can stay longer in noisy work areas.

NORSOK standards are developed by the Norwegian petroleum industry to ensure adequate safety, value adding and cost effectiveness for petroleum industry and operations. The NORSOK standards also represent the “best practise” in the industry and are being adopted by companies also outside the NCS. The NORSOK R-004 Piping and equipment insulation covers the minimum requirement for thermal, acoustic, personnel protection and fire protection for pipes, valves, flanges, vessels, equipment etc. for offshore/onshore installations. The insulation Class 6, 7 and 8 specifies Acoustic insulation in order to ensure that noise emission from piping, valves, flanges and equipment meets the area noise requirements for the working environment as given in NORSOK S-002.

Based on documented insertion loss, each project may select the applicable class and select materials or combinations of materials to cover the required insertion loss at actual frequencies. Combination classes such as Class 56; fire and acoustic are also common. All systems shall be tested and the insertion loss documented in accordance with the measurement procedure outlined in ISO 15665, Clause 10. All materials shall also be tested and approved in the actual combination.

Benarx A range of products is designed to reduce noise levels both from pipes and valves, and from larger equipment using sound stop curtains. The Benarx A pipe jacket is typically used if no other insulation classes are required, and “Soundstop” material is used in conjunction with other material such as cellular glass if the insulation class is a combination class.