How to Select an Impact Damping Material

What is impact?

  • An impact force is one that, at the point of impact—point of collision between bodies, delivers a shock wave of energy.
  • This shock wave of energy, resulting from a high impact delivered over a relatively short time, is responsible for causing injury or damage to the impacted individuals or items.
  • Adverse effects, such as damage or injury, occur as the energy of the impact force is transferred to the affected entity from the source of the impacting force.


Damping is the process of safely absorbing and dispersing energy. This process results in a transformation of energy to safer levels or frequencies.

Damaging effects of impact and damping

  • The transfer of energy that originates from an impact force causes damage and injury.
  • Impact force, and its resultant transfer of energy, will ultimately result in inefficiencies such as waste, rework, and downtime.
  • You can counteract harmful effects of impact force by discovering a method for the safe effective absorption of impact energy—utilizing a good impact damping material. You need to know how to select an impact damping material. Sorbothane® is the most efficient material currently available for energy absorption—the best impact damper on the market.
  • Whether you need an impact damping material that will lower your worker injury rate, lessen the occurrence of equipment breakdowns, or lessen product damage, you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that Sorbothane can best satisfy your specific needs. Industrial machine operators, runners, workers utilizing pneumatic tools, sensitive cargo, and colliding equipment parts, can all realize the benefits of Sorbothane’s impact damping capabilities.

What is Sorbothane, and how can it effectively damp impact?

  • Displaying viscoelastic attributes, Sorbothane is a unique polymeric material. Viscoelastic refers to the fact that this polymer, Sorbothane, has properties unique to a liquid (a viscous solution—ones that can flow) while also demonstrating those of a solid (an elastic material).
  • When this one-of-a-kind polymer, Sorbothane, experiences an impact, it flows just like a liquid.
  • Elastic solid attributes are being demonstrated by Sorbothane when it reclaims its original shape after impact force removal has occurred.
  • With Sorbothane, absorbed energy is safely dispersed—away from the origin of impact—as heat.
  • So, if you are wondering how to select an impact damping material—choose Sorbothane—achieving an impact energy absorption rate approaching 95 percent.
  • Engineers the world over specify Sorbothane for its impact damping properties.

Addressing your impact damping needs with Sorbothane

Sorbothane has created a line of products that provide superior impact damping capability.

  • Sorbothane Pallet Isolation Rings damp the damaging impact forces that can destroy delicate in transit cargo.
  • Sorbothane protects machinery with the superior damping capabilities of our Bushings and Washers.
  • Unique damping applications can be addressed with our Strips and Sheet Stock.

Contact Sorbothane to discuss your unique impact requirements, including customization, with our highly experienced engineering staff.