Effective noise control actions have to be taken in the preliminary definition and engineering design stages of major capital projects. Government legislation and public sentiment have virtually eliminated “wait-and-see” as a viable alternative. Unfortunately, an adequate understanding of the design aspects of noise control in process plants currently exists neither for all important noise sources nor among all suppliers, contractors, and users. This paper discusses both solutions and problems in sections dealing with sound transmission outdoors, plant sound power, furnaces, air coolers, control valves, rotating machinery, piping systems, flares, correction versus design, specifications and guarantees. The contention is that, where it is lacking, an adequate understanding of noise generation can be achieved, leading to the design of plants that are adequately quiet from the start.

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