Noise Control - General Information


The sound power is defined as the rate at which a sound source emits energy.  Since sound energy in everyday situations ranges from 10-12 Watts to 1000 Watts, a logarthmic scale is used for practicality; this provides us with a sound power range form 0 to 150 dB, which is a lot more manageable.
The sound power level is denoted as Land is defined as:-

Lw = 10log10    (Sound power of source, W)

                         (reference power, 1pW)

                       and is expressed in decibels, dB


W=Watts and pW = 10-12 Watts

The sound pressure is what you actually hear and is the effect of the sound power in the  hearing environment.  It will be a function of the volume of  the space, its acoustic absorption qualities and the distance of the listener from the sound source.
Sound pressure level is also expressed in dB and is relative to the quietest sound which a healthy young person can hear at 1kHz; 2 x 10-5 N/m2 (or Pa)
The sound pressure level, like sound power is expressed on a logarithmic scale and denoted as Lp.  It is defined as:

Lp = 20log10    (Sound pressure, Pa)

                 ference pressure, 2 x 10-5 Pa)                     

BS 4718 : 1971 "Methods of Test for Silencers for Air Distribution Systems" requires manufacturers to test and publish static insertion loss figures.
An insertion loss is defined as "the reduction in noise level at a given location due to the placement of a silencer in the sound path between the sound source and that location". A static insertion loss is the insertion loss with no airflow passing through the silencer.
Therefore placing a silencer in between a fan and the measuring position, will reduce the noise level at the measuring position by the insertion loss.
Attenuators are tested to BS4718: 1971 "Methods of Test for Silencers for Air Distribution Systems". This test standard sets out a procedure for the testing of static insertion losses; i.e. the measuring of insertion losses without airflow.
Some overseas companies publish dynamic insertion losses; that is the testing of insertion losses with airflow involved. At higher passage velocities the static insertion loss can vary from the dynamic insertion loss by a small margin, depending on the direction of the airflow compared to the noise propagation direction.
For typical velocities associated with a HVAC system, the static insertion losses and dynamic insertion losses are virtually identical and can be assumed to be the same.
For a given attenuator size a higher air flow results in a higher airway passage velocity. Higher passage velocities will increase the regenerated noise level of the attenuator. This is particularly critical when the attenuator is serving a low noise level zone; i.e. film studio. A number of suggested maximum passage velocities with the appropriate room NR level are tabulated. Critical noise applications should be checked by an Acoustics Engineer.
NR25 Do not exceed 8m/s In attenuator airway
NR30 Do not exceed 10m/s In attenuator airway
NR35 Do not exceed 13m/s In attenuator airway
NR40 Do not exceed 15m/s In attenuator airway
NR45 Do not exceed 18m/s In attenuator airway
Critical noise level application should be checked by an acoustics engineer
Model Application Benefits
Small Circular Type attenuators
CC Bathroom and Toilet exhaust fans Lightweight
Tenancy fit outs Low cost
Apartment fans Semi-Flexible
Circular & Rectangular Attenuators
C/CP & RT/RS Car park exhaust fans Circular: Easy fitting
Return Air fans Circular Open: Low pressure drop
Swimming Pools Circular Pod: High performance
Kitchen Exhausts  
Smoke Spill fans Rectangular: High performance
Cross-talk Attenuators
CS/T/U/Z Room to room air transfer ducts Different designs to suit a wide range of wall/roof configurations
Police stations
Office areas
Sound Bar Acoustic Louvres
SBL1/2 Plant rooms Short lengths
The ear responds not only to the absolute sound pressure level of a sound, but also to it's frequency content. It actually gives a weighting to the level of sound according to its frequency content, and ascribes a certain loudness. This means that if we want to know how a person will judge the sound, we must somehow translate our objective measured units of sound pressure level and frequency content into subjective units of loudness.
A sound level meter accepts all of the frequency components of a sound, and adds all their absolute levels together to give an overall sound pressure level, dB (Linear).
Figure 1 shows typical overall sound pressure levels produced by some everyday sources.
However the ear is not as sensitive to lower frequency sound pressure levels as it is to higher frequency sound pressure levels. Therefore the "A" weighting (or the "A" in dB(A) was devised so that the sound meter would filter each frequency of sound by a certain amount before adding them together to give a loudness that more closely follows the sensitivity of the human ear.
While measuring with the "A" weighting is a convenient method of estimating loudness, at certain times we need more information than this single figure can give us.
The dB(A) tells us virtually nothing about the sound's frequency content. Is the noise too high over the whole frequency spectrum, or are there just one or two frequency components which are excessive? Is the noise problem due to a tonal component which stands out above the general noise level?
Therefore, to try and help with these deficiencies, a NR curve is used in Australia (while in New Zealand PNC curves are often used). The NR curve is a series of Octave Band frequency curves (as shown on Figure 18, page G-33) on which the octave band spectrum of the noise in question is plotted on the same grid. The NR level of the noise is the highest NR curve touched. This system lets the engineer know which frequencies need to be attenuated to achieve a certain NR curve. (PNC curves are shown on Figure 19, page G-33)
Therefore both the dB(A) and NR curves are subjective units which give a representation of how the ear actually assesses noise, although work is currently being done to develop more accurate representations.
For some suggested limiting values for both dB(A) and NR levels, the table on page G-32 may be used.


The Multiflow TDE 500 to 710 range consist of fully cased, cylindrical models with circular mounting flanges at both ends and a wired terminal box.


The Mini Centrifugal Roof Fan series are the new type roof extract units available in 2 sizes and suitable for vertical and horizontal installation. The low noise external motor and high efficient backward bladed impeller meets the requirement of efficient ventilation in residential, commercial and light industrial applications.

Future 150

The Decor Series can be wall or ceiling mounted and is designed to exhaust stale and moist air from bathrooms, toilets, laundries etc. They are also suitable for ventilating all types of small or closed areas.

TD Silent

The Silent Series is a low profile mixed-flow in-line fan that produces low noise when in operation. It does this through a specifically designed perforated internal skin that directs sound waves produced inside the fan to a layer of sound absorbent material.


The low-profile TD-EVO 250 and 315 in-line mixed-flow fans for circular ducts have a unique design where the support bracket allows the motor and impeller assembly to be fitted or removed without dismantling the adjacent ducting.


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