Vibration Suppression

Vibration is an interesting problem for a number of people. Joggers have to be concerned about vibration that affects their feet and legs while they are running. That vibration can destroy their energy and their performance. Vibration becomes a problem for workers of different types, including people doing manual labor and people working in laboratories. There are many different ways to try to suppress this vibration and all of the problems that it causes.

Lab Workers, Lab Machines and Vibration Problems

A lab worker has a number of issues to deal with related to vibration. First, most lab workers are on their feet for very long hours during their shift. They may be able to sit briefly, but for the most part, they are walking back and forth between their lab machines as they work generating lab results for the various tests they do. If it is a medical lab, the results are important to the people who are waiting for them, including the patient and the doctor. In these cases, accuracy is not just important but potentially life changing. A lab, being a hub of activity, is beset by all kinds of vibration.

Vibration suppression is not only about the comfort of the lab workers, although that is an important consideration, it is also about ensuring the accuracy of the lab tests that are performed there. It is also about ensuring the safety of the lab equipment, which is often expensive to the point of being nearly impossible to replace.

Each lab machine has to be very carefully and meticulously calibrated to be accurate to the barest hair of error. In other words, it is almost dead on exact and has to be kept that way. Each machine creates its own vibration, which can make this accuracy difficult to maintain. But other machines in the area as well as the surrounding structures may also become a problem. Even the smallest lab workers can create vibrations as they walk back and forth doing their work for the day.

The slightest mishap during a key part of a lab test can change some of the lab values. In most cases the value will not be changed so much that it causes a change in outcome, but there is no room for chances when people’s lives are at stake. Without vibration suppression in place, the average test might be changed dramatically, leading to a potentially missed diagnosis.

The Location of the Lab Can Matter in a Major Way

For the most part, there are two kinds of medical labs – one being located in the hospital itself and another that is independently run as a standalone facility. The latter may or may not be affiliated with the hospital but will be in a different location. For either type, there are internal and external forces that increase the amount of vibration that is created and may cause problems with the work that is done there. For instance, in the hospital the elevator, no matter where it is located, causes vibrations, which are transferred to the internal skeleton of the building. That vibration is then scattered along the rest of the framework and the flooring, not noticed by people but potentially causing problems all the same. Even in a single story, standalone lab, there are problems with vibration caused by traffic in the parking lot or the roadways outside. There are other sources of vibration, including intermittent and temporary problems such as a thunderstorm that can cause an increased level of vibration for its duration.

Different Types of Vibration Suppression Solutions

In the lab, because there are so many different sources of vibration, there have to be a number of different suppression solutions. One example is special mats that are used on the floor to reduce walking vibration and to reduce fatigue for the workers. Another might be mats used under machines so that they do not cause vibrations to neighboring machines as well as to prevent them from creeping when they are in use. Some machines may be designed to have vibration suppression built in so that internal components are not bothered or hampered during a cycle.

Some of the Considerations for Vibration Suppression Systems

A lab might be a dangerous place for a number of reasons including volatile, caustic and otherwise hazardous solvents and chemicals. Any type of vibration solution that is put in place in these labs must be able to withstand coming in contact with these types of materials. Not all vibration suppression materials can handle even being wet with plain water, so that is an important consideration to keep in mind. Sorbothane®, a blended material that is not quite solid and not quite liquid, is impervious to caustic chemicals and is able to be completely waterproofed.

Finding the Perfect Solution

Imagine that you are in charge of a lab. Your need for a vibration suppression system is apparent, but exactly what do you use? What if you have a unique lab set up that might not have been commonly seen before? A quick check of the product listing for Sorbothane might show you most of the right solutions, but there might be one or two areas that there is nothing that is quite right.

The solution is fairly simple: customize the item that you need. All that you do is call or email a member of the Sorbothane design team and describe the need that you have. They can modify the vibration suppression system that you are buying to suit your needs from changing the dimensions to the thickness.

Not every situation needs the exact same solution, which is why Sorbothane works with customers to make modified and customized products for their clients. Working with an individual, business owner or large company doesn’t change the fact that the product has to work in the situation it is being bought for. Want to learn more about Sorbothane’s solutions? Contact us today.