Vibration Control – Why It’s Vital for Moving Parts

February 02, 2015

Any time there are moving parts in any sort of machine, there are bound to be vibrations. This is because moving parts cause friction, which releases energy in the form of heat and noise vibrations. These vibrations can be pretty harmless, causing nothing but annoyance. Sometimes you can’t even tell that they’re present. Sometimes, though, vibrations can cause major problems for a machine with moving parts. When this happens, engineers have to bring in various vibration control techniques to take care of the problem. Here are some reasons that vibration control is vital for a successful machine.

For one thing, vibrations can cause parts of the machine to work improperly. You see, every part in a machine has a resonant frequency. When that part comes into contact with a vibration of that frequency, it will start to oscillate dramatically. Even a tiny vibration in the right frequency can cause huge movements. When parts start to hit resonant frequencies and to move too much, the machine can stop working almost immediately.

Even if resonant frequencies don’t cause parts to move dramatically, though, even small movements can cause the machine to move more than it should. Over time, this can cause more wear and tear on the moving parts of the machine. This can cause a machine to break down and wear out more quickly, or it might cause certain pieces of the machine to wear out frequently.

Of course, all this is beside the fact that lots of vibration can simply be annoying. If any machine is going to be in contact with human beings, it should be as free from extra vibration as possible. No one likes to ride in a car that is vibrating out of control. It’s uncomfortable to be shaken by the movement of the car, and it’s also annoying to listen to the vibrations. In any type of machine, things are simply more comfortable when a good engineer brings vibration control techniques into play.

When you think about vibration control, you might think about acoustical systems in theaters and such. These basically are controlling vibration. In a theater, you want sound to reach all the way to the walls, but you don’t want any of those sound waves to bounce back and cause an echo. This is why the walls of most theaters are covered with foamy substances or fiberglass, both of which absorb sound waves.

This is a great way to control vibration, in fact, but it isn’t the only way. Depending on the source of the vibration and the type of machine in question, engineers have lots of options. One particular option for vibration control in machines is called Sorbothane. It’s a substance that can both absorb sound waves and convert them into heat energy. Because it can do both of these things, it’s very useful in engineering machines, as it can control sound waves and other types of vibration in a variety of situations.

Interested in learning more about Sorbothane's solutions? Download our Standard Products Guide today.