Good vibrations at Soleco


04 August 2023

Awad Ahmed, Project Engineer R&D at Soleco, on the importance of selecting the right dampers for different HVAC applications.

The use of an HVAC system is essential for regulating temperature, humidity and air quality, increasingly essential factors for the health of the environment. In order for the system to be efficient, it is important to consider some factors that can affect its correct functioning such as, for example, the mechanical vibrations produced.

The vibrations generated by machinery installed in residential buildings or workplaces can be a source of disturbance and significantly reduce people's well-being. The UNI 9614 standard sets precise limits on the acceptable values of these vibrations depending on the types of rooms and buildings. In particular, the following uses are identified: critical areas, homes, offices and factories.

Critical areas identify structures such as hospital operating rooms or technical rooms where precision work is carried out. It is essential to stay below these limits of acceptability to ensure adequate comfort and avoid legal disputes that can culminate in costly adjustment work. Furthermore, vibrations from uninsulated machinery can be transmitted to rigid connections such as pipes and beams generating structural noise and significantly reducing the useful life of the equipment.

Different frequencies

 In residential buildings the most problematic vibrations are often generated by air conditioning systems which can be isolated with the application of anti-vibration supports. The vibrations of these units are produced by rotating components such as fans, compressors and motors. These vibrations have very different frequencies and for correct isolation it is important to carry out studies and/or surveys.

The selection of an incorrect vibration damper can lead the isolated system to have natural frequencies close to the forcing frequencies, generating local or global resonance phenomena. For the isolation of the low frequencies generated by fans it is not sufficient to use bearings but it is necessary to provide high deflection spring systems, while for the isolation of the forcings with higher frequencies (generally above 25 Hz) it is possible to provide elastomer vibration dampers.

Soleco engineering s.r.l., an Italian company that has been producing anti-vibration mounts for over 50 years, provides a targeted consultancy service in order to select the correct anti-vibration mount for the type of installation required. In this way the isolation of the frequencies is ensured.

If the installation takes place on the roof, the technical construction standards require that systems and non-structural elements are verified, together with their connections to the structure, for the seismic action corresponding to each of the limit states considered. Therefore, when using standard vibration dampers, it is essential to analyze the seismic action of the project and foresee any containment brackets.

The containment brackets can lead to various problems, including dilation of the processing time and high costs for ad hoc design. To overcome these problems, Soleco offers its range of anti-seismic antivibration mounts, which at the same time isolate mechanical vibrations and guarantee seismic anchoring to the unit. The selection of anti-seismic devices is carried out by the Soleco Technical Office which checks the loads and the insulation factor.


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Professional advice

The strength of Soleco products is the seismic qualification obtained at the Milan Polytechnic following tests according to ANSI-ASHRAE 171/2008 standards and validated by Lloyd's Register.

Manufacturers and installers should rely on the advice of professionals for the choice of vibration dampers in order to obtain maximum insulation and provide suitable systems according to the regulations. Soleco provides its customers with a free anti-vibration selection and analysis service. Selections can concern a single machine or an entire range of machines.

Many manufacturers rely on Soleco's kit service to reduce the running costs of these accessories. Through modern analysis systems Soleco is able to subdivide and categorise a huge number of machines by selecting the best set of vibration dampers for each category. The anti-vibration kits are supplied with manuals, screws and accessories such as anchoring brackets and jacks.

The company also guarantees after-sales assistance, on-site consultancy and, when necessary, carries out vibrometric measurements to identify the best solution. Experience and continuous research allow Soleco to satisfy increasingly specific requests for those who work in the sector, guaranteeing quality and innovation.

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