What Does a Vibration Dampener Do?

The Two Sides of Vibration

Vibrations are both an essential phenomenon enabling us to interpret sounds and a potential detriment causing mechanical failures. Whether you’re building an engine, a cell phone, or a computer, vibrations can cause major mechanical problems. Unmanaged vibrations in a machine can lead to noise and ultimately breakdowns.

Foundational Concepts: Vibration Basics

Vibrations are essentially back-and-forth type movements. Different objects and waves vibrate at varied frequencies, contributing to what engineers refer to as resonance, where specific frequencies trigger pronounced movements in objects or their parts. When certain objects or parts of objects encounter vibrations at these frequencies, it causes them to shake or move significantly.

Challenges in Engineering: The Resonance Dilemma

Every object possesses one or more resonant frequencies. Engineering’s challenge is to ensure the natural frequencies of components don’t align with their resonant frequencies. When these frequencies match, it may result in accelerated wear or even complete failure of components. Thus, addressing resonance is paramount in engineering designs, especially in intricate constructs like cell phones and engines.

Solution Strategies: Addressing Resonance

The job of an engineer is to ensure that the natural frequency of something is not the same as its resonant frequency. For instance, when you build an engine, you must make sure that its parts don’t vibrate at a frequency that will resonate with one or more other parts, making them move unnecessarily. An engine or other work of engineering that doesn’t take resonance into account can wear out quickly or even break down completely after a short time.

There are a couple of different ways to solve resonance problems. One way is to build an item differently so that its natural frequency and resonant frequency don’t match up. With some things, such as swinging bridges, this is essential and somewhat less complex, but with things like cell phones and engines, it can be terribly difficult. This is where vibration damping materials come in.

The Role of Vibration Dampeners: Sorbothane, Inc.’s Contribution

Vibration dampeners, often comprised of viscoelastic substances like Sorbothane®, have the properties of both a solid and a liquid. This kind of substance will absorb some of the energy from vibration, turning some of it into heat energy and storing some of it until the pressure is off. Since energy can’t be lost, it is transferred from one form to another.

This energy transfer is crucial in vibration damping. Substances like Sorbothane can act as a vibration dampener to absorb some of the vibration energy. Essentially it makes the frequency lower and reduces wear and tear on an engine or electronic part.

Explore More Sorbothane Solutions

Learn more about how Sorbothane, Inc.’s solutions can meet your vibration damping needs. Contact us today to discuss your projects and products and explore the myriad of applications of our vibration damping solutions.