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Reducing the Noise Generated During Air-Arc Gouging Can Be as Simple as Flipping a Switch

[+] Author Affiliations
George Durkt, Jr.

U.S. Department of Labor – Mine Safety & Health Administration, Pittsburgh, PA

Paper No. IMECE2009-12830, pp. 239-247; 9 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 15: Sound, Vibration and Design
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4388-8 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1


The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has been evaluating the job/task of air-arc gouging performed by mine shop welders. Air-arc gouging is the process of melting an old weld with a carbon based electrode (rod) and blowing the molten metal away with compressed air. Noise levels of 115 dBA or higher can be generated in this process. Three acoustical field evaluations were conducted at mine shops comparing both Constant Current (CC) and Constant Voltage (CV) techniques for air-arc gouging. The results indicate that by using the CV technique, the average overall A-Weighted Sound Pressure Level (SPLA ) was reduced by as much as 8 dBA from an average of 117.6 dBA to 109.3 dBA. As might be expected, dosimeter results indicated that the rate of noise accumulation was also reduced utilizing the CV technique. The average accumulation rate decreased from 4.5 percent Dose per minute for CC at varying air pressures to 2.0 percent Dose per minute for CV at 80 psig.



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