Vibration Isolator

February 03, 2015

Vibration is a fact of life. Even if you are standing perfectly still, there are muscle fibers twitching inside of your body. There are vibrations being picked up by your body from the surface you are standing on. Traffic driving past creates vibration. Machines in the same room or adjoining rooms can cause movement.

Even an elevator that is down the hallway can cause vibrations that are transferred via the skeleton of the building and then sent to the floor you are standing on. Certain people need to eliminate as much of this vibration as possible, especially when they are working. Scientists and inventors, for instance, need to isolate vibration so that they do not disturb their delicate creations and calculations.

The Inventor and Vibration: A Work in Process and Balance

An inventor works on his creation at a bench or in a lab. No matter where he does the work, there are going to be issues with vibration from a number of sources. Any type of tool or machine that is involved generates vibration. In addition, traffic from outside, even foot traffic from people walking past the door will cause this vibration. Any slight bit of jarring can cause a miscalculation or a failure in an invention. That may make it longer to get to a successful process. The more machines that are used, the more vibrations are created. In addition, bigger machines cause bigger vibrational waves.

There are ways to minimize the vibrations, however. And sometimes that becomes as much of the invention process as the original design.

What Is Vibration Isolation?

Vibration is an understandable term referring to oscillations caused by movement and sound that are transferred to a nearby solid structure, which in turn either absorbs and dissipates the wave or absorbs and then transmits the wave back again. An isolator is a device that absorbs some or most of the vibration, preventing it from reaching either another structure or from expanding to the point that it can cause damage of any kind.

In essence, the vibration isolator captures the vibration and excess movement and holds it away from other parts until it is absorbed and rendered harmless. There are several types of vibration isolation systems including the negative stiffness isolator, which is used with both scanning probe and scanning electron microscopes so that both can deliver higher accuracy during lab work.

The vertical motion isolator is comprised of springs and bars, and the horizontal motion isolator is made of beams and columns. Finally, there is the six degree of freedom isolator, which is made up of three types of isolators that can be all the same or alternating types, depending on the situation and the outcome desired.

Vibration isolation can be simple (a small bit of foam or other padding material) and makeshift or can involve a more complex system that uses a number of steps and components to reduce vibration to a null level.

What Are the Problems Caused by Vibration?

There are a number of problems that are caused by vibration. In the human body, excessive vibration can cause pain, muscle fatigue and can even serve as a distraction that lessens the ability to concentrate and focus on the tasks at hand. People can become irritable, grouchy and difficult to deal with because of the vibration. But vibration can also cause problems with mechanical structures and delicate calculations in experiments as well.

The more delicate a structure, the more important it becomes to eliminate vibration. That same concept applies with anything that is considered volatile, flammable or generally unstable. Inventors may work by trial and error, but they do so with regard to safety precautions, minimizing dangers as much as possible before proceeding.

In a world where one wrong move could be the last move that an inventor ever makes, it is important to be aware of every potential for trouble and then to minimize that potential as much as humanly and mechanically possible.

How Sorbothane’s Vibration Isolation Pads Can Help

Finding the right vibration isolation system is important, but it can be very difficult especially for the inventor. They may not be able to simply call and order something to fit onto a gadget or gizmo that is not technically available yet. For them, it comes down to a need for something customizable.

Sorbothane’s design team can work with an inventor to come up with the right size and thickness for vibration isolation pads that will work on the invention, even when it is in the planning and trial stages. Because it is a unique material, it can be adapted for use in a wide range of different applications including ergonomics, electronics and even military uses.

Sorbothane has been used in delicate applications inside of specially designed cameras as well as in huge applications such as the Air Force Memorial. It has even been used to help move the Liberty Bell to its new location!

Steps to Take: A Clear Goal Among Many

Most inventors see a problem as the first step to a new idea. That problem is something they need to solve- without a problem there would not be an invention because there is no need. They take things in steps, working from the problem itself all the way to a working solution. Along the way, the inventor may change directions or refine plans to accommodate changes in calculations or because of trial and error.

During these steps it will become obvious that there is a need for a vibration isolation pad or system of some sort. That is when you make the call to Sorbothane. In addition to a list of products and vibration isolation pads of varying types and sizes, there is another advantage. You can customize anything that you might need to account for the right size that you need as well as changing things such as color or thickness as well. Sorbothane is not only a unique blend of polymers, it is also impervious to water, many solvents and chemicals and resists oil as well. Contact Sorbothane today to learn more about how our solutions can work for you.