ASME PTC 36-2018: Measurement of Industrial Noise

Construction manager with yellow earplugs blocking ASME PTC 36-2018 industrial noise.

ASME PTC 36-2018: Measurement of Industrial Noise has been released. As it is a revision of ASME PTC 36-2004 (R2013), there are some modifications to the performance test code.

In its pages, ASME PTC 36-2018 refers to sound. Sound is a form of energy, a changing pressure wave manipulated by a vibrating object. When a person notices those changes in pressure or when these pressures reach a person and they notice it, they are hearing the sound. Sound can come from a variety of mediums. Operatic voices, marching band instruments, and obviously industrial equipment. Noise is how one perceives that sound. It is relative to the person who hears it.

However, too much noise can not only aggravate someone but also cause significant hearing loss. Sometimes this hearing loss will not be noticeable for a long time. Noise-induced hearing loss happens when too much sound infiltrates the ear. It can happen without the victim knowing it. In a work environment where decibels of sound can be higher than normal, such as at an industrial site, it is important that precautions are taken to protect workers.

According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), any sounds that go above 85 decibels for a prolonged amount of time can cause hearing damage. For reference, NIDCD says that the humming of a refrigerator is 45 decibels, whereas motorcycles can be 95 decibels. Music from headphones at a maximum volume can be 105 decibels.

The goal of ASME PTC 36-2018 is to present procedures for measuring and reporting airborne sound that comes from equipment or stationary sound sources, or from a facility, that has numerous sources of stationary sound. ASME PTC 36-2018 gives references for measurement procedures. These recommendations are applicable to settings that could be influenced “by background or extraneous sounds.”

Woman working at energy plant prepared to follow ASME PTC 36-2018 to prevent industrial noise.

ASME PTC 36-2018 provides assistance for two measures of sound levels:

  • Survey Method (Survey Grade)
  • Engineering Method (Engineering Grade)

ASME PTC 36-2018 also gives information on definitions, guiding principles, instruments and methods of measurements, computation of results, report of results, and references.

The changes to ASME PTC 36-2018 are:

  • A reference to ASME B133.8-2011 was removed because it was withdrawn. Instead, B133.8 has been absorbed, in parts, into this code.
  • There are deleted references to sound intensity.
  • A reference to two-surface level method has been deleted due to its relatively infrequent use by professionals.
  • Presented a more general formula for the K2 environmental absorption correction.
  • Presented a new method of uncertainty analysis, displayed in Nonmandatory Appendix A.

ASME PTC 36-2018: Measurement of Industrial Noise is available on the ANSI Webstore.

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