Shear Modulus Explained and What It Means to You

February 02, 2015

Women walkingAny material that you use will have pros and cons for use. There will be a number of benefits that you can get from adding certain elements to your object. Shear modulus refers to how the material might respond to certain types of strain. There are a number of different types of strains to consider when choosing your materials and application. The other types of strain include bulk modulus, which is the material’s response to uniform pressure. Another consideration is how a material responds to linear strain such as what occurs when there is strain applied to opposite ends or sides of the material.

Shear modulus refers to shearing strains, which occur when two surfaces rub against one another, in other words, when they shear over each other. That motion can cause serious damage to the material eventually, depending on a number of different factors. Weight limit and type of material can be two of the biggest determining factors and should be considered when choosing a design and a material for any application.

Another way to define the concept of shear modulus is by the use of the word “friction”. The best example might be to consider a pair of sneakers that are either too tight or too stiff. They run up and down on the back of the heel, eventually leading to a shearing injury, which on skin is seen as a blister. The extent of the sheering and therefore the blistering may depend on how long the shoes are worn, the type of motion and some other relative factors. For instance, a person who is running on a hot, summer day may see a lot more friction damage than a person who is just walking on a spring day.

Shearing or friction damages can be very serious in some cases, because while the skin on a human’s foot will grow back, the same damage in a machine or other object will not. To prevent this type of damage, it is important to reduce the amount of friction between the two surfaces, particularly when they are touching one another during the entire operation period. For some types of materials, oil or another type of lubricant is used to reduce the strain or shearing as the two surfaces pass one another. The problems with these lubricants include the mess and having to be replaced frequently.

Sorbothane is a viscoelastic type of material that is used in a number of different applications. In addition to excellent vibration reduction, it can also be used to prevent or reduce damages caused by shearing. Because it can be cut to fit, there are very few limitations to the uses and applications. The right thickness of Sorbothane is important because it can impede the performance of the object if it is too thick. If it is too thin, then it will provide no real protection at all.

Interested in learning about how Sorbothane can prevent and reduce damages related to shear modulus in your product? Contact Sorbothane’s engineering team today to learn more.