Shock Absorbing Material

January 30, 2015

Sorbothane is the best solution when you need a shock absorbing material. Shock absorbing materials may be called shock absorbing polymers, visco-elastic polymers, visco polymers or simply polymers. There are many other shock absorbent materials available like rubber, neoprene, silicone, etc. but for our purposes here we’ll discuss polymer and Sorbothane specifically.

The problem might be shock to the human body or the shock from dropping an electronic device – the goal is the same though and that’s to protect the potentially precious materials inside. Other shock absorbing material solutions like rubber and other polyurethanes might have their place, but there’s only one Sorbothane® and it can be configured to meet your specific needs – regardless of the application.

Why Shock Should Be A Priority In Your Design

Unwanted mechanical energy manifests itself as vibration, shock or noise and can become a serious problem within mechanical systems. Finding the right shock absorbing material can be critical in developing an effective and efficient design. In shock absorption, even a little can do a lot of good.

Shock is a major cause of damage and failure with mechanical – especially electronic devices. To describe specifically what we’re referring to as shock is normally considered a short-duration event with large magnitude acceleration. (A drop to the floor or a hard bump against an unyeilding object or surface). A shock absorbing material is introduced in the design to help the energy from the impact transfer from the surface or chassis directly into the material so the internal components are not damaged.

A common cause of damage to any mechanical device is the G level it experiences. G level is determined by the drop height and rebound. The diagram to the right will display how Sorbothane handles the effect of Impulse (Shock) compared to other popular materials.

Why Sorbothane Is The Best Shock Absorbing Material

Sorbothane® absorbs up to 94.7% of impact shock and that’s a fact. Sorbothane® is a highly-damped, visco-elastic, polymeric solid. Sorbothane® “flows” like a liquid under load and is a thermoset, polyether based polyurethane that combines high energy absorption with near faultless memory. Sorbothane® is considered a “super soft” polyurethane that can simultaneously absorb shock and vibration energy which makes it preferable to one dimensional materials like rubber and other polyurethanes.

Sorbothane combines shock absorption, good memory, vibration isolation and vibration damping characteristics that’s combined into a stable material with a long fatigue life.

Assistance with specific applications, technical questions or design problems is available directly from Sorbothane Technical Department. You can also download our Engineering Design Guide to learn more. Product literature and samples also are available by contacting the Customer Service Department at 330.678.9444 ext. 117.

Some examples of how Sorbothane can be used as an effective shock absorbing material can be shown in our Standard Products Guide, including pads, grommets, dampers, bumpers, bushings, sheets, hemispheres, rings and many more applications. If an appropriate isolator cannot be found among the standard products, Sorbothane can also manufacture a custom part or solution based on your design.

Let Sorbothane be your shock absorbing material of choice. We’ve provided solutions since 1982 and we can ensure rapid prototyping and timely production of low, medium or high volume needs. We’ve helped to transport the Liberty Bell, provided solutions for the Space Shuttle and even devised a series of colossal “ball-in-box dampers” designed to dissipate wind energy in the new Air Force memorial. We’d love to help you.

Interested in learning more about Sorbothane's solutions? Contact us today.