How Sorbothane Dampens Noises in Machines
Vibrations can be a major problem for machines, and engineers must work hard to dampen, control, or manage vibrations. Vibrations can cause problems by wearing down a machine more quickly than it would otherwise be long-lasting. Sometimes, though, vibration problems aren’t even harmful to the machine. They can simply be annoying when they come out in the form of extra noise. Whether you’re crafting a tiny computer, a huge truck engine, or whatever other machine people use on a regular basis, you have to have a way to work in noise control.
There are many different ways to control noise in machines. You can engineer the entire machine differently, for one thing. This, though, can be frustrating, especially if your design is good in everything except for the extra noise coming from the moving parts. Another option is to isolate some of the moving parts from the rest of the machine, which works once in a while. This, though, won’t work for every machine simply because it’s impossible.
Another option is to use specialized substances to either absorb, block, or damp the noises. Absorbing materials will actually soak the sound waves in, in a way, so that they don’t travel to the ear. For instance, fiberglass and mineral wool both absorb sound waves that are trying to get through them, effectively reducing noise output. Blocking materials simply keep the sound waves from getting from point A to point B. Damping is a little more complicated; basically, a damper is a material that keeps certain vibration frequencies from resonating with machine parts and causing even more noise-producing vibration.
There are many different substances that have been sued over the years in these three roles. Right now, though, a new substance, called Sorbothane, has been used in different capacities for noise control concerns. While other substances used to control noise are either liquid-like or solid-like, Sorbothane is visco-elastic, which means that it has the properties of both a liquid and a solid. Because of this, it offers some unique noise control properties for machines and other applications.
For one thing, Sorbothane can be used to either absorb or damp noises. Because of its liquid properties, it can basically fade out vibrations in the way a cup of water takes noise vibrations and turns them into slight movements. Because it is elastic, Sorbothane can absorb sound waves and release them again as tiny units of heat energy. Used in the right way, it can also act as a damper, and it can keep machine parts from resonating with surrounding frequencies to cause more vibration and more noise issues.
Besides all this, though, Sorbothane is highly flexible. It has been used for tiny machine parts or large machine systems. It can be turned into small noise-controlling pads or used in any number of other ways. Once you target the parts of the machine that are actually causing the noise, you can use Sorbothane in just about any way you need for noise control.
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