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Vibrations Podcast Part 2 - Case Study of Cancer Research Facility


Case Study - Vibration Control in an Advanced Cancer Research Facility, Part 2


Three universities received a donated piece of land at a river bank in a busy metropolitan setting surrounded by highways, bridges, light rail traffic, and long-term construction staging and activities. They planned to construct a state-of-the art cancer research facility housing high end inspection tools such as TEMs and SEMs. Due to the surrounding activities, the site presented itself with an unstable, active, and high ambient vibration with amplitude well above 2000 micro-inches/sec. The facility vibration criterion was set to be 50 micro-inches/sec. This podcast will describe how Vibro-Acoustics Consultants and TMC partnered to solve this challenging problem. 

For this second part of Vibrations’ look at vibration building design, host Daniel J Litwin continued his discussion with Ahmad Bayat, P.E., President at Vibro-Acoustic Consultants (VACC), and Mike Georgalis, North American Sales Manager at TMC. They began discussing the life science case study teased on this episode’s first part. Bayat and Georgalis also offered their perspectives on support roles TMC and VACC play in reducing vibration and building noise for advanced research and mission-critical industries.

“Everybody at TMC loves to solve problems,” Georgalis said. “And we’re the kind of folks that like to work with our customers to understand their problems, and we view ourselves as someone the customer can come to with their challenging applications, and we’re going work with them to figure it out.” When the industry needs a specialized vibration mitigation system, Georgalis said, TMC is the company people call.

And Bayat said the complexities of this type of technology could feel mysterious to even the most learned engineers. Hence, his approach is to unravel these mysteries and make them more tangible for his customers to understand. Bayat explained that everyone understands the basic principle of an earthquake. While those seismic events don’t occur often, the nano-vibration issues his team works to control do.

Noise and vibration activities often worsen once a facility is built. Vibration levels within a building have been shown to increase with time as it is occupied by people and equipment. This can be even worse in urban environments where outside development of train lines, roads and building construction often makes vibration worse with time. In this case a cancer research center to be built on land in the heart of Portland, OR, had to take these effects into account. “There were a lot of surrounding activities,” Bayat said. Continual issues this new building would face were noise and vibrations from railroad tracks, highways, and a construction staging area for municipal projects that would exist for years to come.