Damping can be defined as the dissipation of oscillating energy. Examples of oscillating energy include vibration, noise, and shock waves. Consider the case of vibration—an oscillating energy made up of cyclically repeated forces of specific frequencies. Vibration refers to the up and down or back and forth motion that is caused by the transferred energy originating from these forces. Because it is caused by waves of energy, vibration possesses both a frequency (oscillations—cycles per time unit) and an amplitude (strength). It is important to be able to control both attributes. Due to the fact that, differing frequencies interact with materials in different ways—frequency must be addressed. Everything is associated with a natural frequency (resonance frequency). When a system experiences vibration, and the frequency of that vibration matches the system’s resonance frequency, then that system will begin to resonate. The waves of vibratory energy begin to build upon one another. This results in a continual increase in the amplitude (strength) of the vibration. As in the case of vibration, the energy transmissions associated with shock waves and noise can have harmful effects—injuring workers, damaging equipment, and destroying product. All demonstrate the need for damping—the absorption and safe dispersal of energy that results in a decrease in amplitude (strength)—to avoid harmful levels– or a change in frequency—to avoid harmful or unwanted frequencies.
What is Sorbothane® and why is it an effective damper?
A one of a kind polymeric material—Sorbothane® exhibits visco-elastic characteristics. Visco-elasticity is the ability of Sorbothane® to exhibit properties of liquids (viscous solutions—ones that can flow) as well as solids (elastic materials). When experiencing a load (vibration, shock, noise), Sorbothane® flows like a liquid. It acts like an elastic solid by returning to its original shape after forces are removed. Unique to visco-elastic materials, Sorbothane® safely disperses absorbed energy (from vibration, shock, noise) outward from the source of impact in the form of heat—making it a highly desirable damping material. Sorbothane® is specified by engineers worldwide for these damping properties. Sorbothane® is specified in the form of standard products—like those available in our on-line Industrial Products Guide, including Sorbothane® Bushings, Washers, and Soft-Blow Mallet. It is also specified as Sheet Stock—available for your unique needs. When developing specifications for your custom requirements, you may need to know how to get help with a material damping calculation. Contact Sorbothane!
Sorbothane® customization and design
Sorbothane® has developed its on-line Engineering Design Guide—as an advisory aid to assist you in designing with Sorbothane®. Whether you are designing from the ground up, or retrofitting an existing product or piece of equipment, the Design Guide can provide a good first step for your design process. As you refine your design, you may want to know how to get help with a material damping equation. Contact Sorbothane to learn how our knowledgeable engineering staff can assist you with design and customization.