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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Updated silencer meets demands for quieter drilling

Atlas Copco SmartROC T40

Drilling noise can be a major source of irritation, not only for drill rig operators and others at a quarry, but also for people living in close proximity. Now the noise generated by drilling has been reduced to a new low level thanks to Atlas Copco’s latest drill rig silencing kit.

The distinctive kit or hood is offered as an option with the company’s new SmartROC T35 and T40 drill rigs, making these among the quietest surface drill rigs on the market.

First introduced in 2005, the silencer has been upgraded and improved, in co-operation with experienced users to reduce the noise generated from the feed by a further 2dB(A), giving a total sound power reduction of 12dB(A).

This means that site personnel at the recommended safety distance from the rig during operation can converse with colleagues without having to shout, use a phone and more easily hear other noise around them while still keeping their ear protectors in place.

According to Olav Kvist, product line manager at Atlas Copco Surface Drilling Equipment, the secret of the new kit lies in a double layer of noise-absorbant material, together with an upgraded aluminium chassis that has greater resistance to drill rod vibration.

‘The real noise source is the drill rod,’ he said. ‘We reduced this noise considerably with the first silencer kit and now we have done it again by reducing it by a further 2dB(A), which sets a new standard on the market.’  

Besides better noise dampening, the new kit is also more functional than its predecessor. It has four access hatches (with a fifth at the very top of the feed). These can be opened two at a time at the touch of a button, allowing access for rod handling, inspection of coupling sleeves or service. In addition, the kit has been equipped with an improved lighting system.  

Without the silencer kit, the specified noise level of the SmartROC T35 and T40 is 127dB(A) at peak power. With the silencer kit installed tests have shown that the noise level falls to 115dB(A), resulting in an improved working environment and meeting increasing demands for reduced noise levels both today and into the future.

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