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Vibration Damping

Sorbothane is a great solution for vibration damping.

Vibration damping is a term that’s used in industrial, electronic and ergonomic applications when there is a need to reduce the amount of energy that’s produced by the system. Normally engineers try to address and reduce this energy at it’s source so the disturbing force is not at or near a natural frequency. This will ensure that resonance does not occur. Sometimes this is not possible for many reasons so problems will usually be controlled with a vibration damper. Usually when a good vibration damper is added, the energy that is left over is removed and converted to a small amount of heat which is referred to as the “swallowed energy”.

The difference between vibration isolation and vibration damping:

We’ve discussed vibration isolation before but it might be a good idea to define the difference here between vibration isolation and vibration damping. A good vibration isolation system will lower the natural frequency of a mechanical system below the excitation frequency. This keeps the natural and excitation frequency “out of sync” which in turn reduces the amount of vibration and potential problems.

A vibration damper takes energy out of the system. When you increase the damping in a mechanism or structure there will be a reduction in vibration and noise and the dynamic stresses applied will be reduced with a resulting benefit to the fatigue life – among many other benefits.

Sorbothane can absorb over 50% of the vibration energy over most of its temperature operating range at frequencies from 10 to 30,000 Hertz.

What are the main considerations when choosing a vibration damper?

1) A good damping coefficient:

A damping coefficient is a material property that indicates whether a material will “bounce back” or return energy to a system. A basketball has a low damping coefficient (a good bounce back). If the bounce is caused by an unwanted vibration or shock, a high damping coefficient will attenuate the response (“Swallow the energy” and reduce the reaction of the system.)

Sorbothane has a superior damping coefficient, over a very wide temperature range, compared to any other polymer.

2) Wide temperature range stability

The temperature range stability for materials must be known for use in the extreme application environments.

3) A long fatigue life.

Fatigue is failure under a repeated or varying load, never reaching a high enough level to cause failure in a single application.

Sorbothane combines shock absorption, good memory, vibration isolation and vibration damping characteristics into one solution. In addition, Sorbothane is a very effective acoustic damper and absorber. While many materials exhibit one of these characteristics, Sorbothane combines all of them in a stable material with a long fatigue life.

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