Environmental and occupational noises have become a health, safety and welfare concern in countries around the world. And, riveting panels during truck or trailer assembly can be a noisy operation. The process may involve drilling and the use of rivet guns that have periodic impact and high peak sound pressures. Pneumatic compression riveters are used for certain types of rivets.
Some estimates place rivet gun noise in the 100-110 dB(a) range – well over most noise limits – and enough to be dangerous for your ears. And to make matters more complicated, addressing noise levels is not always straightforward. Many health and safety organizations recommend performing a detailed noise survey to assess riveting. Engineering controls and retrofit operations for machinery are highly specific and must be customized.
One of my customers, a Canadian trailer manufacturer, moved away from rivet use as part of their effort to comply with occupational exposure limits outlined by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). CCOHS points out that the best method of noise reduction is to modify the noise source, with personal hearing protection being a second-best solution. My trailer customer eliminated the source altogether—and found that structural adhesives, such as LORD® 810 Low Read-Through (LRT) acrylic adhesive, are a great solution for attaching aluminum extrusion framing to roof and wall materials. Eliminating noisy riveting processes helped the company meet the CCOHS target for a time-weighted average sound level of 85 dB(a).