# Noise and Impact Hammers by John White. Made for the Pile Driving Unions

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1 Noise and Impact Hammers by John White Made for the Pile Driving Unions

2 Introduction The purpose of this presentation is to discuss noise created by pile driving equipment with a focus on impact hammers.

3 Presentation outline What is noise. Where does it come from? How is it measured. The two main types of noise pile driving creates. What kind of regulations are we facing. Where is the noise coming from? What has been done in the past. What s being done now. What should be looked at in the future.

4 What is noise? Where does it come from? Noise is a vibration. The kind of vibrations we are discussing are those created by impact pile driving. As we will see, these noise vibrations may not be coming from the hammer, but from the pile driving system as a whole. APE D at full stroke on test stand in California undergoing sound tests.

5 Measuring noise: Noise can be measured using a decibel meter. The name comes from Alexander Graham Bell and the unit of measurement is called- the bel. Usually the value in bels is multiplied by ten and the sound level is expressed in decibels (db). More advanced devices are being used to determine the type of sound coming from impact pile hammers. Photo by Craig Wood This meter totals all noise.

6 The two types of noise we are interested in: 1) Point Source 2) Line source

7 Point source An example of a point source is sound coming from a single point, such as the noise coming from the anvil striking the striker plate. D30 anvil hits striker plate

8 Line Source An example of a line source is sound coming from a long pile as shown in this picture from Singapore of a Hydraulic drop hammer driving an H-beam pile. Singapore low headroom hydraulic impact hammer. Type: Hydraquip

9 Measuring facts: Noise from a point source will drop 6 dba for each doubling of distance. Noise from a line source will only drop 3 dba for each doubling of distance.

10 Noise from a point source Noise 50 ft 100 ft 200 ft Source 80 dba 74 dba 68 dba Noise from a point source will drop 6 dba for every doubling of distance. Note: Noise from a line source will only drop 3 dba.

11 What regulations are we facing? Seattle s maximum permissible sound levels and construction noise limits.

12 Pile driving noise. Where is the noise coming from? Depends on the following: Impact hammer type- hydraulic, air/steam, diesel Height of hammer off the ground Leader system Pile type- wood, steel, concrete, pipe, plastic Pile dimensions-length, diameter, thickness Cushion type Energy output of hammer- stroke Type of soils- soft driving, hard driving Rebounding Ground surfaces- water, land, buildings Weather

13 Hammer typehydraulic low headroom. No provisions for sound reduction. Junttan free fall made in Finland Hydroquip lowhead room manufactured in Singapore

14 Low head room Junttan hammer. HHK3 5 feet and HHK12 14 feet tall

15 Low head room hammer working in Singapore.

16 Hammer type-closed Twinwood BSP Delmag with sound proofing with sound proofing

17 Hammer type- Air/steam Open type Stroke is fixed, or semi-fixed. Noise does not vary as much as diesels.

18 Hammer type- Diesels American Pile Driving Construction Pleasanton California ICE 100S with sound shielding (ICE Seattle) APE D30 without sound shielding

19 Height off the ground Does the height of the hammer really matter. Yes. Depends on: Hammer type: single acting diesels stroke up. They make less noise at first, but as pile meets soil resistance, hammer strokes up, increasing energy. More energy, more noise. May seem louder because hammer is closer to you. However, tests show differently, depending on pile type.

20 Leader systems American style lead systems reflect sound waves. Not a big factor over European style leads, but could be. Junttan in box leads European style leads in China with Chinese water cooled diesel

21 Pile type Pile type is the major factor because the pile can be the source of the noise. Concrete piles make far less noise. Cushion a factor. Ear plugs required on steel piles. Steel piles transmit vibrations. Noise is a line source.

22 Pile type-continued Tests show that wood and concrete piles make less noise than steel piles, such as H-beams, pipe, or sheet piles. This is due mainly to the lack of a wood cushion material. If steel piles were driven with a wood cushion the noise level would be greatly reduced.

23 Pile type-continued Tests comparing D62 with no sound reduction technology created less noise than Junttan HHK9a with latest sound reduction technology available. Why? Noise came from steel pile. Noise dropped as pile sank into soil. Junttan on steel pile was louder than D62 APE D62 produced less noise. Energy was slightly lower.

24 Pile dimensions Does not matter much on concrete piles. Makes big difference with steel piles. Steel piles are the killer. Can be solved. Noise output will change depending on wall thickness, length, etc. Some piles vibrate more than others.

25 Cushion type Tests show almost no difference between drive cap (hammer) cushion materials. However, pile cushion, such as the wood cushion on a concrete pile, is a major factor in reducing noise. Wood cushions on steel piles would make a big difference in noise reduction.

26 Cushion test Tests show that steel pile noise is greatly reduced by using a concrete wood cushion. Energy loss is a factor. Singapore drive cap design makes it easy to use wood cushion on all types of steel piles. Burlap works. Singapore adapter design adapts round drive cap base to any size pile.

27 Cushion-continued In Singapore, pile drivers use burlap bags instead of thick wood cushion when starting piles. Purposeto drive piles faster. Burlap reduces the noise factor while allowing energy transfer. Crew adds thick wood cushion when driving gets more difficult. Pile crew loads burlap bag for next pile. In Singapore, all drive caps are round. Light weight adapters are fabricated to hold wood cushion and center pile in drive cap. See next slide.

28 Cushioncontinued Twinwood hammer Notice Singapore adapters for various pile sizes. Round drive cap can fit large piles. Adapter centers piles in large round drive cap. Various adapters are cheaply fabricated. Adapter allows wood cushions on steel piles.

29 Other noise factors Energy output of hammer Type of soils Rebounding- causing repeated metal contact Ground surfaces- water, land, buildings Weather (warning: avoid nice days on water.)

30 What has been done? Scheduled operating times- peak hours only. HUSH system Augered cast-in-place piles Drilled shafts Still worker Burlap bags in Singapore Extreme engineering experiments

31 Scheduling times Drive during day when noise is more acceptable. Avoid driving during off peak hours. Drive when weather blocks sound waves. Know when you make the loudest noise and schedule it to your advantage.

32 What has been done? The HUSH system Consisted of a lead system that completely enclosed the hammer and pile. Excellent sound reduction.

33 What has been done? Augered cast-in-place piles as a alternate foundation

34 What has been done? Drilled shafts

35 What has been done? Silent pile hammer This is not an impact hammer.

36 What has been done? Burlap bags

37 Past extreme inventions Chinese hydraulic press Oil as a cushion material Compressed air as a cushion

38 What is being done now? Shielding the diesel hammer. Crane suspended sound barrier Twinwood enclosed hammer. Junttan enclosed hammer with sound reduction foam. Burlap bags. Plastic piles

39 What is being done now? Hammer shielding. Attempts to shield hammer noise had little effect on test at pier 91 in Seattle. Steel piles were a factor.

40 Diesel Hammer with Sound Wall

41 What is being done now? Football stadium in Seattle. Dewitt Construction Hammer shielding. Massive shield had very little effect on noise from D62. Crew reports stated that shield was political not practical.

42 What to expect in the future. A better understanding of what causes the noise will help in the development of better systems to reduce noise. Enclosed lead systems using foam pads. Drive caps using wood cushion on steel piles. Pile rabbits that also serve as sound deadening devices. Foam coated piles. Plastic or other types of piles designed to reduce noise. Continuation of switch to other types of foundations such as augered cast-in-place piles, bored piles, and drilled shafts.

43 Vibration near concrete Pile Driving With A Vibratory Driver From or Near Adjacent Structures The contractor shall not drive piling, with a vibratory driver from an existing structure unless all of the following conditions are met. 1. The existing structure will be demolished within the contract. 2. The existing structure is permanently closed to traffic, and 3. Working drawings are submitted in accordance with Section and (16), showing the structural adequacy of the existing structure to safely support all of the construction loads. To minimize the detrimental effects of pile driving vibrations on new concrete less than 28 days old, piles shall not be driven closer to the new concrete than the distance determined from the following formula: D=C times the square root of E times 10 = C( E*10) Where : D= distance in feet E= rated hammer energy in foot pounds C= coefficient shown below based on the number of days of curing time Curing Coefficient Curing Coefficient Time (days) ( C ) Time (days) ( C ) This distance may be reduced if approved in writing by the Engineer.

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