Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Withstanding Capacity of Insulating Panels used in Machinery Assemblies

Luca Landi1, Fabio Pera2,a, Ernesto Del Prete2 and Carlo Ratti2

1Department of Engineering, University of Perugia, Via Duranti, 63, Perugia, Italy.

2Dipartimento Innovazioni Tecnologiche (DIT-INAIL), Rome, Italy.


In assembly of machinery and production lines, it is, sometimes, possible to isolate workers from noise and other emissions by cabin and walls built with polyurethane core.

Wall sheet sandwich panels with insulating core in polyurethane foam, used for the construction of infill walls, internal partitions and false ceilings of buildings and prefabricated construction sites are a common solution for this aim.

These panels, having an external sheet in aluminium, steel or other materials are also able to protect workers from temperature, coolants, and swarf but they are usually not designed in order to protect against impacts due to ejections of workpieces or tool parts.

Even if the original aim is to protect against the effects of noise, there is a residual risk, especially in machine not fully enclosed by fixed or mobile guards, such as huge machining centres and lathes or woodworking machines.

In this paper, the withstanding capability of either a single or two coupled (double) sandwich panels, made as previously described, will be investigated. In addition, the so-called ballistic limit for these structures will be discussed.

Real protective properties of those insulating panel walls will be presented considering to the requirements indicated in ISO 14120:2015.

Moreover, the stiffening effect in withstanding capability, probably due to rib surfaced outer metallic sheets of panels assembled in multilayer disposition, will be discussed.

Keywords: Machine tools guards, Safety of machinery, Ejection risk, ISO 14120:2015, Safety test.

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