If you work as a safety professional, particularly with the responsibility of workplace noise measurement, you will be familiar with the importance of acoustic calibrators to verify the accuracy of your sound measurement equipment. So, to help explain why calibration is so very important, we have assembled the top 3 reasons why you should always use an acoustic calibrator with your noise measurement instruments.
Most noise regulations around the world stipulate that if you use a sound level meter or a personal sound exposure meter, these should be calibrated before and after each measurement session. It is important to note that noise measurements made for ‘official’ use such as occupational or environmental monitoring will not be valid unless correct calibration procedures have been followed.
What is the role of an acoustic calibrator?
An acoustic calibrator is a robust, portable device that fits over the microphone of a noise measurement device such as a sound level meter. The most common calibration level used for a modern sound level meter is 94dB at 1kHz (but other levels can be used, especially when calibrating personal sound exposure meters or noise dosemeters). This calibration allows you to check quickly the accuracy of your equipment before you start, thus ensuring compliance with international regulations and codes of practice. Please note that acoustic calibrators in some cases can be built also into other instruments such as, for example, Pulsar’ s Model 22 personal noise dosemeter Reader.
Why should you use an acoustic calibrator?
Before and after you make sound measurements, always think: acoustic calibrator! This is…
1) To check that the data has been correctly acquired
Accuracy matters. You don’t want estimates and you should be confident in your measurements. By using an acoustic calibrator, your instrument is typically calibrated to within less than + or -0.1dB. This ensures that you are making accurate measurements.
2) To verify that nothing has changed during the measurement session
The microphone capsule of your sound level meter is the most important part of your meter that captures the sound level but is probably the most fragile part. It could become damaged through accidental misuse and give inaccurate measurements. It is easy to notice when an instrument malfunctions or is badly damaged but It can be very difficult to notice if microphone damage has occurred. The acoustic calibrator will help you detect any such issues.
Make sure that you are following applicable standards and avoid hefty penalties by selecting the right type of calibration. Acoustic calibrators come as a Class 1 or Class 2 such as Pulsar Models 105 and 106. As a reputable manufacturer, both the units available from Pulsar meet in full the accuracy requirements of IEC 60942, the standard for Sound Calibrators for Class 1 and Class 2. They are also approved by the German National institute for science and technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, or PTB).
We hope this article has given you a good overview of the importance of calibration to help you maintain the accuracy of your noise measurements. By calibrating as directed by standards, you will make ensure that you are meeting all the requirements of your program.
- 5 ways to measure noise at work accurately
- How a sound level meter will help you measure noise at work
- Measure noise legally
This blog appeared first on Pulsar Instruments’ website on 21st September 2015.
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