What is damping material?
Damping material is used in a wide range of applications. Each use is unique, but that does not mean that the same material cannot be used in multiple types of situations. In the simplest of terms, damping material either reduces excessive vibration, dissipates increased heat, or reduces the strain and stress of using a machine for the operator. Of these things, vibration is the most common and can typically cause the most problems. Elastic damping materials return to their original shape after absorbing shock or vibration.
What is the difference between elastic and viscoelastic materials?
Viscoelastic materials have elastic material properties. The difference between elastic materials and viscoelastic materials is that viscoelastic materials have a viscosity factor and the elastic ones don’t. Because viscoelastic materials have the viscosity factor, they have a strain rate dependent on time. Purely elastic materials do not dissipate energy (heat) when a load is applied, then removed; however, a viscoelastic substance does.
Viscoelastic materials are used for noise, and absorbing shock. They give off the energy absorbed as heat.
What material is best for damping?
Sorbothane® has a complete range of damping material properties. It allows excessive noise and heat to be safely dissipated before it reaches the human operators. It prevents vibrational creep, the action of a machine moving out of place due to the vibrations during operation. It can also absorb some of the vibrations at joinings in some machines. New designs, especially those that use newer, composite materials, may need to use different types of bonding agents, which makes the pieces stronger but also eliminates one of the methods of damping. Sorbothane restores that ability without changing the strength or design of the machine and without impacting user safety.
Sorbothane is a unique material and may be the best solution to many types of situations where vibration damping is a must. It is a polymer blend and can be designed to conform to any shape or size as well as made to be any thickness that is needed. It does not add bulk or weight to an item. It can withstand a number of chemicals that it might be exposed to as well.
Is temperature a factor?
A good vibration damping material should perform as expected without drawing attention to itself. If the material is always the source of breakdown or failure, it is time to consider replacing it. This is especially true in situations where temperature extremes can make repairs or replacing parts even more dangerous and uncomfortable. Sorbothane is used in a number of these situations for the very fact that it is adaptable, customizable and better able to handle temperature fluctuations than other types of more rigid materials. It can withstand a wide range of temperatures or fluctuations in temperatures without hardening, melting or getting sticky. Because it can also flow, it is able to be used in smaller, more delicate operations than other, firmer material would be. It is flexible and can be made to be as thick or thin as is needed for the exact use at hand. There is a wide range of current applications, but Sorbothane can also be fully custom made to your own specifications as needed.