What is the tan delta for damping material? Tan delta is an abbreviated form of the term—Tangent of Delta. The tan delta quantifies the way in which a material absorbs and disperses energy. It expresses the out-of-phase time relationship between an impact force and the resultant force that is transmitted to the supporting body. Materials that effect the greatest phase shifts—approaching 90 degrees—have the highest tan delta values. These materials demonstrate the greatest capability to dissipate energy in a safe form—such as heat—at as close to 90 degrees (perpendicular) to the impact surface as possible. The tan delta is also known as the Loss Factor due to this loss of energy from the impact force via conversion to, and dispersal of, a safer form of energy. Thus, the tan delta is ultimately an indication of the effectiveness of a material’s damping capabilities. The higher the tan delta, the greater the damping coefficient, the more efficient the material will be in effectively accomplishing energy absorption and dispersal.
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