Within Australia’s $150 million pipeline of rail infrastructure are a host of transformative metropolitan passenger projects. As noise and vibration mitigation technology becomes ever more sophisticated in passenger rail, and commuters’ expectations of comfort become ever higher, it is essential that these projects achieve the highest possible standard of acoustic treatment.
We are amidst a flurry of activity in transport infrastructure. As projects are opened and improved upon in stages, delivering logic and efficiency to commuters’ journeys, light rail, rail, and roads are becoming linked into intermodal transport networks.
Despite moving thousands of people per hour, rail can impact a cityscape through noisy carriages and vehicles. Complementing other major local developments, many transport infrastructure projects successfully improve accessibility and attractiveness of local public spaces without discomfort or unsafe levels of noise.
However, with tunnels being built underneath metropolitan areas and tracks laid near residential areas, Australian passengers expect only the highest degree of acoustic comfort from these new services. All these projects demand sound consideration for noise control measures and materials.
No matter the size of a rail infrastructure project, sophisticated noise abatement may be easily achieved – so long as project leads successfully determine the right system and materials for the job.
Of course, the optimal is to source fit-for-purpose materials, with tested credentials and qualities that are perfectly suited to the project’s specifications.
Noise abatement on the Sydney Metro
When Pyrotek secured the contract to deliver mitigation on the Sydney Metro Northwest, it developed a custom-attuned material for track absorption, Viterolite 900.
The Sydney Metro project posed unique requirements and a challenging time frame for manufacturing and installation of this new material. This is typical of such projects; install windows and unique specifications are something to always consider when it comes to planning, local expertise and flexibility with product development.
The factor that allowed Pyrotek to deliver a material on time that met all requirements was it’s Sydney-based production. A locally manufactured solution is no small feat for just anyone, but when Viterolite successfully delivered on Sydney Metro, it became evident that these quiet achievers were set and fit to deliver.
As below, so above
Similarly, back in 2014, Pyrotek delivered a unique noise abatement solution during the light rail system extension from Broadbeach South Station to Burleigh heads. Another specially-designed material, Reapor, was determined for inclusion near to the tracks below street level to absorb noise across a broad frequency range generated by wheel and track contact.
Constructed from small aerated granules made from recycled glass, Reapor works by being close to the source of sound. It reduces noise right where it occurs and prevents high levels of noise travelling across streetways, waterways and bridges.
Acoustic performance for the future
As these new transport infrastructure projects roll out, they will continue to incorporate and dictate many facets of design and construction in our cities of tomorrow.
Surface materials in particular may be specified for varying purposes. With appropriate planning and consideration, these materials will provide the right finish, durability or acoustic performance on a given project – preferably all three.
For project leads, focus should remain on upholding acoustic excellence. They should seek out suppliers who can work well both with them and with local contractors to get the job done right.
It is particularly wise to keep this dynamic in mind on the ground, where these networks already exist. Global company networks and supply chains can be beneficial, but perhaps a combination of both globally and locally sourced solutions will prove most beneficial for successful project delivery.
Technical reliability – check product declarations and test results
Testing across a variety of materials against different frequencies continues to optimise technology in noise abatement and products, which can substantially reduce tunnel noise levels and provide safe, world class transport areas.
Even with the right materials, however, technical reliability will take time and due diligence. Project leads must ensure their acoustic consultant has provided and soundly checked product declarations and test results.
When assessing products, consideration must also be given to whether they are manufactured in quality processes with international recognition. Project leads should check which options offer the best and most recent ISO certification available.
Pyrotek Technical R&D Manager, Michael Kierzkowski, said large projects require tailored solutions to specific problems where several factors need to be taken into account.
“These include fire, acoustic and installation requirements. Developing or streamlining products to satisfy all requirements for each project is critical to achieve maximum benefits in specific applications,” Mr Kierzkowski said.
Local brand, global outreach
With a long heritage of delivering solutions, Pyrotek knows noise control. Its products are known for protecting commuters, residents and the population in general from stress, headaches, noise and discomfort, which is a fundamental all too familiar from observing outdated areas of any city.
The company is also expanding its global leads, with products available to markets across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, and offices worldwide to support this supply.
With work continuing in the Australian market for over 30 years, Pyrotek now supplies insulation to all major rolling stock manufacturers internationally. Thus, interestingly, Pyrotek products were included in the flooring for the train carriages purchased by Sydney Metro. And now, local noise control materials line the tunnels through which these trains run.
In these new developing markets, and with an ever-increasing list of potential infrastructure projects occurring globally, Pyrotek is emerging as a trusted brand, well-established into global networks of supply.
As project leads seek to attain the highest levels of comfort in our shared transport future, perhaps they should take another look at Pyrotek.
This partner content is brought to you by Pyrotek. For more information, visit www.pyroteknc.com.