Control Machine Vibration

What Engineers Use to Control Machine Vibration

Many people think that putting together and engine is simply about putting together parts that move in a certain way and achieve a certain end. This is true to some extent, but there are also many other factors to worry about when you’re creating an engine or anything with moving parts, actually. One of the things that has to be figured out is how to control vibrations.

Vibrations aren’t simply annoying things that make noises. In fact, every vibration has a frequency, which is why they make noises at all. Every part in a machine, too, has a resonant frequency – possibly more than one. This means that if any vibrations of that particular machine reaches the resonant frequency of another part, the second part will start to shake. In the short run, terrible vibrations can cause an engine to stop working, or they can simply cause excess noise that is annoying. In the long term, though, vibrations can cause a machine to wear down more quickly than it otherwise would have, even if the vibrations are slight.

In order to deal with vibrations, engineers have several things they can do. One of the best things, of course, is to plan the project properly. Lots of time goes into experimenting with various layouts and seeing which moving parts might negatively affect the others. After this, though, there are still a certain number of things that an engineer can do to control machine vibration.

One of the ways that a vibration can be controlled is that it can be isolated. This basically means that a substance is used to keep that particular moving part from throwing its vibration frequency out to other moving parts. Isolation is often used between various systems of a machine that don’t necessarily have to be directly connected but that have to coexist.

Another option is called damping. A damping substance basically changes the frequency of the vibrations coming from a particular moving part. This doesn’t keep vibrations from reaching other parts, but it keeps the machine away from the problem of resonant frequencies. If the vibrations coming from various machine parts are never allowed to become resonant, the engineer doesn’t have to worry about them messing up the machine immediately or over time.

One substance that can be used both to isolate and to damp frequencies is called Sorbothane. This is a proprietary viscoelastic substance that has the properties of both a liquid and an elastic solid. Because of this unique combination of properties, it can be used to absorb or to altogether block vibrations from reaching other parts of a machine. Plus, Sorbothane can be made into many different forms, and is often made into small pads that can be placed into various spots on the machine nearby to moving parts. Sorbothane happens to combine some of the best properties to control machine vibration, so it’s becoming a popular solution to replace other substances like rubber and foam.

Interested in learning more about Sorbothane’s solutions? Contact us today.