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Our consultants regularly engage in research activities related to our normal client services. This archive includes the majority of the published technical papers, presentations, and other publications related to this research.

Temperature and Frequency Effects on Properties of Polymer-Modified Concrete

The dynamic elastic modulus and damping of concrete made from ordinary portland cement (OPC) remain relatively constant over the significant ranges of temperatures and frequencies that might be encountered in normal application.  However, this is not the case with polymer-modified concrete (PMC).  This paper presents results of an experimental study examining the role of temperature […]...
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Dynamic Stiffness and Subgrade Modulus of a Slab-on-Ground

“Conventional wisdom” amongst users of cutting-edge electron microscopes and other sensitive research instruments is that their instrument will perform better if supported on a “thick” concrete slab-on-ground.  Typically, their choice of a slab thickness is based on what worked well for someone else, without any thought given to an analytical justification.  The paper presents the […]...
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Vibrations: Measured performance of newly designed and built nanoscale research facilities

The presentation examines how different structural designs and isolation schemes impact vibration characteristics of space in advanced technology facilities.  Vibration data measured in completed facilities successfully working at the nanometer scale are used to explore the manner in which vibration criteria of “better than VC-E or NIST-A” can be achieved.  Data from 23 different schemes […]...
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Effects of frequency and depth on attenuation of ambient ground vibration.

This article discusses the effects of below-grade building placement on vibrations measured prior to design and construction. Typically, site vibration studies are conducted on undeveloped locations (grass fields, parking lots, etc.) to assess the ambient vibration conditions for a potential building site. These results, though very important, do not necessarily represent the final ambient vibration […]...
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Voids Beneath Slabs-on-Ground: Using the impulse response test to verify adequate slab support

Introduction A concrete slab-on-ground is one of the most common of all floor types.  Slabs-on-ground are popular for many applications, especially in research facilities, where they usually provide the highest-quality vibration environment.  This is because they are stiff and uniformly supported, such that they do not exhibit the resonance characteristics of a suspended slab. As […]...
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Vibration sensitivity of optical microscopes in the healthcare setting

The paper examines vibration criteria for benchtop and articulated floor-supported optical microscopes, comparing published specifications with data measured in hospitals for diagnostic purposes.  A case study of vibrations that degraded orthopedic microsurgery is of particular interest.  Revisions and enhancements of published criteria are proposed. H. Amick and M. Gendreau, “Vibration sensitivity of optical microscopes in […]...
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Long-span truss structures for low-vibration environments

Historically, waffle slabs have been widely used in the process floor design in semiconductor production facilities.  In a less stringent vibration environment, concrete joist slab with stiffeners could be a suitable design option. In both of the two approaches, the effectiveness of vibration control in floor structures would be substantially reduced when the column span […]...
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Mode Selection for Footfall Analysis of Floors

Floor vibration due to footfall is of great importance in the design of buildings for vibration-sensitive research and production. The bulk of the predictive modeling methods for footfall involve the use of the “fundamental” resonance frequency which would be excited by the walker. In a complex structure, the analyst may be presented with a choice […]...
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Mechanical and Footfall Vibration Impact to Healthcare Facilities: Criteria and Design Strategies based on Research and Case Studies

The authors present a review of current healthcare facility vibration criteria: Process of selecting criteria Process of selecting design parameters Case Study: Surgical microscope and its criteria Summary of criteria we use   M. Gendreau and H. Amick, “Mechanical and Footfall Vibration Impact to Healthcare Facilities: Criteria and Design Strategies based on Research and Case […]...
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Vibration Kills’ and Other Lessons from the Trenches

In many areas of acoustics and vibration control, criteria are based upon parameters such as comfort, privacy, intelligibility, productivity, or machine precision.  One can approach these criteria with a somewhat dispassionate attitude.  However, when working with the biological research communities, one is periodically reminded by the researchers and medical practitioners that much of their work […]...
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Ground Motion Studies at NSLS II

In this study, an array of vibration measurements at the undisturbed NSLS II site has been performed in order to establish the “green-field” vibration environment and its spectral characteristics. The interaction of the green-field vibration environment with the NSLS II accelerator structure and the quantification of the storage ring vibration, both in terms of amplitude […]...
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The Effect of Buildings on Ground Vibration Propagation

This paper discusses the effects of buildings on ground vibration propagation. Typically, site vibration studies are conducted on undeveloped locations (grass fields, parking lots, etc.) to assess the ambient vibration conditions for a potential building site. These results, though very important, do not necessarily represent the final ambient vibration conditions that would be observed in […]...
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Visually Observable Vibration Sensitivity of a Laboratory Bench Microscope

[1] ABSTRACT Bench-mounted optical microscopes have a wide variety of applications in science and technology. The vibration sensitivity is a function of magnification, vibration direction and support conditions. The paper presents the results of experimental studies addressing vibration sensitivity as well as the amplification and attenuation provided by typical laboratory casework. The benchtop vibration amplitudes […]...
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Vibration Sensitivity of a Laboratory Bench Microscope

Bench-mounted optical microscopes have a wide variety of applications in science and technology.  The vibration sensitivity is a function of magnification, vibration direction and support conditions.  The paper presents the results of experimental studies addressing vibration sensitivity as well as the amplification and attenuation provided by typical laboratory casework.  The benchtop vibration amplitudes at which […]...
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Nanotech I: Site Parameters and Nanotech II: Case Studies and Trends

The first important steps for planning nanotechnology facilities include site and facility assessment to see if the nanotechnology can be performed on the site.  “One site does not fit all” might be a good way to approach planning for nanotechnology.  The research carried out in these facilities is highly sensitive to excessive vibration, noise, electromagnetic […]...
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Experimental Determination of Modal Damping in Concrete Beams

An approach using experimental modal analysis (EMA) is presented for measuring the material damping properties of concrete beams.  This approach, now popular in mechanical and aerospace engineering, uses hammerblow excitation and frequency-domain analysis to estimate resonance frequencies and modal damping.  Damping properties quantified in this manner are compared to results obtained by traditional methods, which […]...
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Site Investigation Criteria for Nanotech Labs

The first important steps for planning nanotechnology facilities include site and facility assessment to see if the nanotechnology can be performed on the site.  “One site does not fit all” might be a good way to approach planning for nanotechnology.  The research carried out in these facilities is highly sensitive to excessive vibration, noise, electromagnetic […]...
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Reducing Floor Vibrations: A polymer admixture provides increased damping in concrete

This “product note” in a trade publication discusses a polymer admixture designed to increase concrete’s damping properties and therefore increase the decay of impact-induced vibrations. The liquid additive is similar to styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) admixtures that are commonly used in pavement to improve durability, but has been modified by adding vegetable gum in the suspension.  […]...
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Buildings for nanotechnology: A look back at the genesis of a new building type

Nanotechnology research is the newest entry into the dynamic field of advanced technology. The buildings required to carry out this work may be dramatically different from those used for other areas of advanced technology. Virtually all of these facilities impose stringent environmental criteria upon the workplace, in such areas as vibration, temperature control, fume exhaust, […]...
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Centile Spectra, Measurement Times, and Statistics of Ground Vibration

Facilities for advanced technology—particularly nanotechnology—impose very stringent requirements on the quality of the site. Ambient ground vibrations are among the most critical factors to consider when selecting a site. Commonly-accepted vibration criteria are available and they, in turn, dictate many of the measurement parameters such as bandwidth, frequency range, etc. However, there are still many […]...
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Use of vibration criteria in the selection of building systems for nanoscale research facilities

Stringent vibration requirements must be met for laboratories housing sensitive equipment for nanotechnology research.  This paper provides guidance to the designer in the selection of structural systems to limit vibrations to acceptable levels.  Comments are also made on site selection, building planning issues, and cost-effectiveness solutions.  The concepts proposed are illustrated with examples of the […]...
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An experimental study of vibration attenuation performance of several on-grade slab configurations

There are several instances in the literature in which particular positions are taken regarding the nature of the floor supporting sensitive equipment such as advanced electron microscopes. Assertions are made that one methodology is better than another at reducing vibrations. However, very little experimental evidence has been provided to support those positions. This paper presents […]...
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Evolving criteria for research facilities: vibration

ABSTRACT The paper presents a review of generic vibration criteria used for vibration-sensitive technical facilities. The paper reviews the logic behind and evolution of the Vibration Criterion (VC) curves, originally known as the “BBN” criteria, and discusses the background of a generic criterion in common usage for nanotechnology, currently denoted NIST-A. The criteria are compared […]...
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Vibration and noise criteria used to evaluate environmental impacts of transportation projects on sensitive facilities

The paper examines the methodologies and evaluation criteria advocated by the U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Rail Administration (FRA) used to determine whether or not a proposed alignment for a transportation project adversely impacts affected land uses, such as research & development and high-technology manufacturing. The criteria in question are applied as limits […]...
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Addressing the environmental challenges of the NIST Advanced Measurement Laboratory

The recently built Advanced Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides a great step forward for that organization with regard to its research environments. Vibration and temperature control were among the most critical concerns expressed by the researchers, and considerable attention was given to meeting their objectives. Critical laboratory environments […]...
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Can Vibration be Controlled with Concrete Damping?

Vibration has long been recognized as a contaminant in a fab. The vibrations can come from many sources both within and exterior to the facility. For quite some time, designers and consultants have discussed means by which future vibrations from “unplanned” sources might be mitigated via design or construction. This article presents one possible approach […]...
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Instalaciones para nantecnología

(In Spanish) This article explores nanotechnology from the perspective of a member of the advanced technology building design team—the structural dynamicist—and focuses on concrete, often the structural material of choice for these facilities. First, it shows how one application in nanotechnology led to research addressing some of concrete’s dynamic properties. Then it discusses some of […]...
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A “Toolbox” of Damping Treatments for Concrete Structures

The paper presents measures by which significant changes in the damping of concrete may be achieved.  A variety of alterations in mix design were examined experimentally, and the most effective treatments involved the use of polymer admixtures.  Significant changes in damping were associated with the use of several types of styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) latex, ethyl-vinyl-acetate […]...
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Considerations regarding the appropriate timing for advanced technology facility vibration surveys

Vibration surveys are carried out for a variety of reasons over the lifetime of a facility for semiconductor fabrication (fab) or other advanced technology process.[1] Evaluations may take place as part of the site selection effort, during construction, or during the productive life of the facility. Generally, there should be a reason for a vibration […]...
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Maturation’ of the Vibration Environment in Advanced Technology Facilities

Abstract Semiconductor production and other advanced technology facilities are often designed in two stages, delineated as “base build” and “hook up”. The first stage, at completion termed “as-built” by ISO, includes the design and construction of the shell structure and all architectural, mechanical, electrical, and process systems needed to operate the building. The second stage, […]...
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Micro-Vibration and Noise

Noise and vibration are contaminants in semiconductor processing and research. Since the tools used in semiconductor manufacturing are sensitive to vibration and noise to varying degrees, excessive amounts of these contaminants can adversely impact yield, throughput, or the operating line width or resolution of the tools. In addition to the potential impact to tools, noise […]...
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Damping Properties of Polymer-Modified Concrete

The paper presents selected results from a broad study undertaken to explore means by which one might increase damping in concrete, which is relatively low—except for when the concrete is rather young—and essentially independent of temperature and frequency.  The most easily implemented approach involves the addition of latex admixtures to the concrete, resulting in a […]...
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Tool or Facility – What Should it Be? Reconciling Differences between Production Equipment Needs and Facility Support

It is not unusual for production equipment’s environmental requirements to be more stringent than the facility can economically provide, thus forming a “gap” between tool needs and facility capabilities, as shown in Fig. 1.  The gap can involve requirements for vibration, sound, EMI, cleanliness, or any of the many other environmental parameters.  This paper presents […]...
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Actual Vibration and Acoustics Measures on a Completed Nanotech Building — Duffield Hall

A case study, including vibration performance data, of one of the first buildings designed for nanoscale research. H. Amick, M. Gendreau and T. Xu, “Actual Vibration and Acoustics Measures on a Completed Nanotech Building — Duffield Hall,” invited presentation for the 2004 International Conference “Nanotechnology Research Space – The Next Step,” August 15-16, 2004, Ithaca, […]...
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Construction of Nanotechnology Facilities

The sophisticated working environments required for nanotechnology facilities pose big challenges to their designers and constructors. Environmental requirements of a nanotechnology facility may include temperature and humidity control, air cleanliness, biohazard containment, limits on electromagnetic fields, special electrical power conditioning, and vibration and noise control. Most of these design aspects have evolved from the special […]...
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The Effects of Ground Vibrations on Nanotechnology Research Facilities

This paper examines the environmental requirements of nanotechnology from the perspective of a member of the advanced technology building design team, the vibration consultant.  It explores the variety of vibration environments required by different parts of the nanotechnology community, and how some of the more demanding of these environments are being provided.  A desirable vibration […]...
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Vibration Design of 300 mm Wafer Fabs

The semiconductor industry is experiencing the transition from 200mm to 300mm fabs. With a number of 300mm fabs now on-line, and many more in the construction and start-up stages, a discussion of 300mm fab design is pertinent. Vibration is an important concern in fab design and construction because many items of precision equipment (or “tools”) […]...
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Vibrations of Raised Access Floors

Raised access floors play a critical role in modern cleanroom design. They have unique mechanical properties that make them respond to dynamic loading in a manner quite different from conventional floors. For example, an unbraced floor is much more flexible horizontally than in the vertical direction. Horizontal vibration amplitudes with walker excitation may exceed 100 […]...
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Facility Vibration Issues for Nanotechnology Research

The paper presents an overview of the vibration requirements of nanotechnology facilities, drawn from both the semiconductor world and that of precision metrology. Structural approaches are discussed which are commonly used to meet some of the special vibration needs of these facilities. H. Amick, M. Gendreau, and C. G. Gordon, “Facility Vibration Issues for Nanotechnology […]...
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Meeting The Vibration Challenges Of Next-Generation Photolithography Tools

In the past, the vibration design process has been driven by the requirements for an acceptable ambient vibration environment for tools. However, the newest generation of photolithography tools, the "scanners" or "step-and-scan" systems, impose an additional requirement for the dynamic resistance properties of the tool's support points. This paper discusses the current scanner support criteria […]...
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Designing for Vibrations in the Laboratory

Many processes involved in advanced technology applications are highly sensitive to vibrations. Among these processes are precision metrology, high-energy physics, long-beam-path laser applications, biotechnology research, and the R&D and production of semiconductors. When designing facilities housing this equipment, considerable attention is spent on the mechanical and structural aspects. In most cases, vibration control measures add […]...
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Construction Vibrations and Their Impact on Vibration-Sensitive Facilities

Abstract An approach is presented for performing site-specific assessment of the impact of construction vibrations on vibration-sensitive facilities. This requires expansion of existing methodologies such that frequency content is included. A case study is included. Introduction Many processes involved in advanced technology applications are highly sensitive to vibrations. Among these processes are precision metrology, high-energy […]...
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Vibration Control Design of High Technology Facilities

High technology equipment such as that used for the production of advanced integrated circuits, for precision metrology, and for microbiological or optical research, requires environments with extremely limited vibrations. Ground motions, personnel activities, and the extensive support machinery typically present in high technology facilities may produce unacceptably severe vibrations, unless mitigation of these vibrations is […]...
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A Frequency-Dependent Soil Propagation Model

Vibration analyses of advanced technology facilities typically must consider frequency as well as amplitude of vibration. A soil propagation model is proposed which will allow the use of site-specific, measureable, frequency-dependent attenuation characteristics. A method is given which allows in-situ determination of those frequency-dependent properties. This approach is applied to the estimation of setback distances […]...
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Dynamic Characteristics of Structures Extracted from In-situ Testing

The paper discusses two primary areas of interest in a structural evaluation. First, in-situ measurements are used to confirm the predicted structural stiffnesses and resonance frequencies. Second, the evaluation characterizes the manner in which vibrations are propagated through the structure. Methodologies are presented for carrying out these measurements, and typical data are given. H. Amick, […]...
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Vibration Data Representation for Advanced Technology Facilities

Vibration control in vibration-sensitive advanced technology facilities generally involves interaction between a vibration consultant and several other engineering disciplines. It is important that the other disciplines have a rudimentary understanding of the consultant's measurement methodologies and design approaches. Practitioners have developed a specialized analytical approach which shares some commonality with traditional civil engineering dynamics, but […]...
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Dynamics of Stiff Floors for Advanced Technology Facilities

Vibration control in vibration-sensitive advanced technology facilities generally involves design of a stiff floor for the vibration-sensitive area. The authors have found that the range of floor stiffness required for semiconductor facilities and laboratories falls on a continuum between "soft" and "stiff" floors. A significant variation in properties can be observed along this continuum. This […]...
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Seismic Isolation of Semiconductor Production Facilities

Semiconductor facilities engaged in development, production, and mask-making for computer chips are extremely expensive, of which 3/4 might be the cost of the delicate equipment used to make the products (chips, masks, etc.). Much of this equipment is vibration-sensitive, and building designers go to great lengths to minimize the vibrations to which the equipment is […]...
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On Generic Vibration Criteria for Advanced Technology Facilities: with a Tutorial on Vibration Data Representation

Abstract The design of vibration-sensitive advanced technology facilities generally involves considerable attention to structural and mechanical aspects. In most cases, the vibration control measures contribute significantly to a facility’s cost. The selection of a vibration criterion for use in design is an important step in the design process. Many process equipment manufacturers have provided tool-specific […]...
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Active Vibration Control in Fabs

As device geometries go down, the need to isolate sensitive process tools from vibration increases. Building construction techniques and passive control methods can keep most of the vibrations under control, but low-frequency vibrations are still a problem. Adding active vibration control to the tool itself can cancel those problems. Kim, J. J., and H. Amick, […]...
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Analytical/Experimental Study of Vibration of a Room-Sized Airspring-Supported Slab

This paper reports the results of the finite element analysis and in-situ testing of a large-scale (4m x 10m) pneumatically isolated concrete slab. The slab was constructed as a design prototype for next-generation metrology laboratories at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD. Data include computed and measured modeshapes and natural […]...
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Optimizing the Placement of a Road between Two Research Buildings – a Case Study

A problem arose during the design of major site renovations of a research campus that serves several research organizations. Prior to the site planning, two tenant organizations had progressed far into the design of new laboratory facilities. Each facility had a demonstrable sensitivity to vibration; unfortunately, there had been little coordination of the vibration requirements […]...
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NIST – Advanced Technology Laboratories: Metrology Laboratories & Vibration Control

The focus of this paper will be on laboratory design and issues related to vibration mitigation based upon the recent experience of Henningson, Durham & Richardson, Inc. (HDR) and its consultant, Acentech Incorporated, in designing new Advanced Technology Laboratories (ATLs) for the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST). Issues related to site selection, laboratory […]...
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A Review of Several Methods for Processing Vibration Data

For many areas of acoustics, standards organizations or regulatory bodies have mandated vibration or noise criteria and defined the appropriate processing methods. No such standards exist for vibration-sensitive facilities at this time except as defined by equipment manufacturers, facility owners, and/or vibration consultants. The existing criteria from these groups differ widely in form. This paper […]...
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Design of Stiff, Low-Vibration Floor Structures

Dynamic loading of a floor can excite vibrations that may adversely affect production or research activities using equipment supported on that floor. These loads may be caused by mechanical systems or personnel activities. One way to minimize vibrations is with a slab-on-grade floor, but often this is not possible due to constraints such as lot […]...
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Protecting vibration environments with zoning and land-use ordinances

Historically, the primary purposes of municipal land use zoning ordinances are to protect and promote a desired quality of life and to ensure that incompatible land uses do not occur. Typical environmental quality considerations include water, air, solid waste, and noise. Seldom, if ever, are vibrations considered; when they are, it is often in the […]...
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A Review of Noise Issues in Semiconductor Clean Rooms

The production of microelectronic semiconductor products requires a facility that is environmentally controlled and virtually free from contaminants. Airborne contaminants are controlled through the use of laminar-flow clean rooms whose air-handling systems provide highly-filtered air at rates of up to 100 air changes per hour, depending upon the class.  The air-handling systems in general and […]...
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Vibration Considerations in Zoning

The primary purposes of municipal land use zoning ordinances are to protect and promote a desired quality of life and to ensure that incompatible land uses do not occur. Zoning considers aspects of community planning such as aesthetics, housing needs, protection and development of natural resources, population density, compatibility of adjacent land uses, and environmental […]...
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Specifying and Interpreting a Site Vibration Evaluation

Many pieces of semiconductor production and test equipment are highly sensitive to vibration. Equipment manufacturers often provide environmental vibration limits and recommend, even require, a site vibration evaluation prior to installation of a system. Suppose a company is planning to install one of these systems. What does the manufacturer's vibration specification really mean? What should […]...
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Vibration and Noise Control in State-of-the-Art Clean Rooms

Vibration and noise may be ranked along-side other sources of microcontamination insofar as their effect on the IC fabrication process is concerned. In this paper we will discuss the design goals that are currently used. We will review the techniques that are available to quantify and control vibration and noise. Gordon, C. G. and H. […]...
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Vibrating Buildings

Please click on the Document Title above to see detail. Amick, H., "Vibrating Buildings," Development Magazine, pp. 43-45 (May/June 1988)....
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