Simplex Devises Sound Solution for Aerospace Firm

FONTANA, CA--Simplex Isolation Systems used SoundBlockTM, their branded sound blocking material, and their knowledge of materials and enclosures to come up with a three-fold solution for GKN Aerospace of Santa Ana, CA

GKN, an American subsidiary of GKN plc, a global company based in Great Britain, needed to contain debris from the machining process of a large robotic router, protect workers in the event of catastrophic failure of the router bit and contain hazardous sound.

"The router turns at 25,000 RPM," said Matt Regalado, western sales associate for Simplex. Regalado worked with GKN to fashion the solution. "Workers in the immediate area wore double sound protection. We needed to remedy the situation."

"We had several firms look at this project," said Matthew Butterworth, production supervisor for GKN. "We chose Simplex's SoundBlockTM product based on the quality of their solution. It covered all our needs. None of the other companies were able to do that."

Simplex designed a 14' x 16' enclosure, 12 feet high, to contain the router. The walls were made from two custom-designed inserts of mass loaded 60 mil vinyl, and a layer of half-inch sound absorption, multi-density foam sandwiched between. This material was developed specifically for this type of application. Simplex also added two doors with 1/4" polycarbonate panes for sound and impact resistance.

"Mass-loaded vinyl blocks the sound, which is what that first inside layer does for GKN," said Regalado. "The foam is a sound absorber. It slows the remaining sound waves down dramatically. Finally, the outer layer of mass load vinyl diminishes the remaining sound. That combination can give you a 40 db reduction in the sound. The material is also substantial enough to contain the router bit in the case of failure."

The other part of the Simplex solution was the skeleton for the structure, which was developed from Simplex SIS 212 heavy-duty aluminum framing. "Many other framing systems become problematic when you try to go above the standard eight feet," said Regalado. "But Simplex's SIS 212 framing can easily reach twelve feet, support the load of these walls, and stand up to an earthquake."

The other benefit for GKN was that they were able to assemble the Simplex structure themselves. This was accomplished, in part, because Simplex incorporated their easy-to-use bonded-bead flatwall mounting system.

"It went together very well," said Butterworth. "Even for such a tall structure, it went together quickly. It's also modular, so if we bring in another router, we can expand our existing enclosure to accomodate.

In addition to sound control, Simplex Isolation Systems designs and manufactures custom cleanrooms that are modular and expandable, as well as a number of products for use in process isolation, contamination control and hot-aisle/cold aisle isolation in data centers. Contact Simplex at 800-854-7951, or see their website at

PHOTO CAPTION: GKN Aerospace installed a Simplex-designed a 14' x 16' enclosure with a 12-foot ceiling to contain high-frequency sounds from a robotic router. Photo courtesy GKN Aerospace.

Tim Sunderland
Gonzo Marketers

Recessions are 90% mental. The other half is in your head--paraphrased from Yogi Berra

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