Mechanical Energy: What it is and How Sorbothane Can Help

February 02, 2015

In the world around us, there are many kinds of energy. Mechanical energy is potential energy plus kinetic energy that is present in the entire mechanical system and then disbursed among those components. All of the parts may have a set amount of energy to contribute but must have an action that sets them each in motion.

In addition to mechanical energy, there are other types of energy including chemical, nuclear and electromagnetic.

Sorbothane is used in mechanical processes to turn the mechanical energy into heat. That heat prevents the loss of energy along the components of the machine. Sorbothane helps to protect the machine, especially delicate or sensitive parts inside of it in three separate ways. First, it reduces the impact peak of a shock wave. When looking at a graph of a shock wave of any kind, you would see that it accelerates (goes up) to a set peak and then decelerates (goes back down) at the same speed, at least in most cases. If there is nothing to slow down this deceleration before the end of the shock wave, there can be serious damage to the part as a result. Sorbothane slows the process down by as much as eighty percent, allowing the deceleration to be much slower and more controlled.

Here’s an easy to picture concept about shock wave and impact. A child on a swing is generating energy as he pumps back and forth, causing the swing to go higher and higher. When the child is ready to get off of the swing, there are two options: he can slow his arc down and come to a stop gradually or he can just stop. As anyone who has ever done so, the resulting jolt can be incredible.

Sorbothane also controls vibrations inside of the machine. A machine moves as it is intended to, with its built up energy dispersed along the sum of its parts. Vibration created from the movement of each part can build up and cause serious damage to certain parts, especially those that are more prone to breakage than others. Even a part that is designed to work by vibration has to have the right speed and rate of vibration to work correctly. Since Sorbothane controls but does not deaden vibration, the machine can work correctly without the increased damage.

Finally, Sorbothane absorbs impact which is not only important to machine parts but to athletes of every level as well. Impact can be one of the most destructive forces inside of a machine as one part pounds into another. Without a way of absorbing some of that energy and slowing the process down, the damage can cause the part to wear out and then to break faster than the average.

Sorbothane, as a viscous elastic polymer can be used in a number of applications including those faced with temperature extremes that other materials might fail in.

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