Characteristics of Industrial Noise

Industrial noise varies in loudness, frequency components, and uniformity. It can be almost uniform in frequency response (white noise) and constant in level; large rotating machines and places such as textile mills with many machines in simultaneous operation are often like this. An automobile assembly line usually shows this steady noise with many momentary or impact noises superimposed on it. Other industries show continuous background noise at relatively low levels with intermittently occuring periods of higher noise levels.

Such nonuniform noises are likely to be more annoying and more fatiguing than steady noise, and they are more difficult to evaluate. The terms used to describe them are sometimes ambiguous. Usually the term intermittent refers to a noise which is on for several seconds or longer— perhaps for several hours—then off for a comparable time.

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