Sound Vibrations

February 02, 2015

How Those Sound Vibrations Can Wreck Your Invention

Inventing a new machine, whether you intend to use it on your own around your home or sell the patent for it eventually, is exciting. You might think that you’ve got it made as soon as you get the machine to work. However, have you thought yet about just how much noise your machine is making? You might think that those groans and vibrating noises coming from certain parts of your machine are simply small annoyances, but they might actually cause big problems down the road.

For one thing, people in this modern day and age like things that run smoothly. Even if the sound vibrations didn’t cause any real trouble for your machine, they could still cause problems with marketing it. When you’re inventing something, one of your major goals should be to get it to run as smoothly as possible. This will only make it more appealing and easier to use in the long run.

Even if the noises aren’t frustrating, the sound vibrations can wreak havoc on your machine. Before we figure out exactly why this is, though, we need to talk about some basic physics lessons. Every sound is really just a vibration in a different frequency. When you’re looking at sound waves on a graph, different frequencies will look different. High-pitched frequencies will be close together, and low-pitched ones will be slow, rolling waves.

Every sound that you hear also has an amplitude. This is basically a bigger vibration. To your ear, it sounds louder, and on paper, it looks taller. When you’re dealing with vibrations in a machine, you don’t generally want big amplitudes because when you’re getting those types of vibrations, parts are moving quite a bit. This can obviously cause things to come out of line, and if nothing else, it will cause your machine to break down more quickly than it otherwise would.

Even if you think your machine is immune to these larger amplitude vibrations, though, you still need to take into account how the sound vibrations may be working together to create more amplitude than you’re counting on. You see, every system of moving, vibrating parts has at least one resonant frequency. This means that if vibrations in that frequency, even small ones, come into contact with the system, they can cause high-amplitude vibrations in return. You have to find a way to protect your invention from resonant frequencies, or you risk it falling apart.

One of the best ways to do this is to practice vibration damping with Sorbothane. This is a proprietary visc o-elastic substance that basically absorbs and converts some of the sound wave energy. When used correctly, it can change the frequency of certain sounds, reduce the amplitude of the system, or change the system’s resonant frequencies. It can be tricky to figure out just how to use Sorbothane, but the material can be molded into any number of pads and other shapes that are easy to put into your machine. This one small substance can save your machine from the major problems sound vibrations cause.

Interested in learning more about Sorbothane's solutions? Learn more about our solutions for entrepreneurs.