Vibration Protection

February 03, 2015

Any business, regardless of the product they sell, cannot have success if they do not focus on people as well. They may sell some kind of machinery piece, but who uses the machine? What kind of product is made using that machine? The bottom line is always people.

If you think of the human body as a very complex and rather delicate machine, the need for certain types of protection becomes more obvious. For instance, protecting humans from heat, cold or wetness is the role that is assumed by clothing, by outerwear and by shoes. It is important to keep the basic needs of humans in mind when developing new products. For the most part, everything that they buy has to provide protection of some kind, make something easier or provide comfort. In some cases, products or parts of products are meant to do all of the above.

When Is an Insole More than Just an Insole?

Anyone who works on their feet for eight hours a day knows how tired and heavy their feet can feel when they reach the end of that day. But, the same can be said for runners, joggers and even walkers, especially if they are overweight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly two thirds of all adults are either overweight or obese, and those people face a number of very serious conditions. While most of those conditions are life threatening, others are only problematic but no less annoying to those people. Walking can be painful to the feet and legs and leave them feeling exhausted. Maybe, they say, they would walk longer or farther if they were not dying at the end of every single walk.

The human foot holds up the whole of the body, but it does more than just hold it up. As the body steps down, all of its weight is forced down onto the legs and feet. The faster the pace, the more force is generated. In some substances, such as sand or grass, the impact is slightly absorbed before being returned back to the foot. On other surfaces, such as pavement or cement, there is not any reduction in impact. That is why the person who jogs on the road or the worker in a factory feels more foot stress and fatigue than the person who is jogging in the sand or the grass. An insole placed in the shoe can ease some of that impact – the typical shoe has a thin insole that absorbs about as much of that impact as you would expect from a small, wafer thin bit of foam. In other words, very little! A Sorbothane® insole, on the other hand, absorbs a much higher percentage of this impact, making the run or walk that much more pleasant and less stressful to the feet and legs. But there are other issues that the human body faces with vibration.

Vibrations in the Hands: Tools and Other Sources

Pick up a hammer and strike a piece of wood or metal as hard as you possibly can. Not only does it make a glorious noise, it probably makes your entire hand and arms tingle as well. The same concept of impact and returned force from the foot/shoe/surface section holds true with the hand and arms. Every time you exert force to pound a nail or use another type of tool, it creates vibrations that are sent up the arm and then into the shoulder to cause joint pain and fatigue. The more vibrations that are generated, the more stress the body feels. In response to that stress you might react by clenching your jaw or stiffening your neck. That in turn can make you have tension headaches or even migraines, which may increase the number of days you miss from work and more. Clenched jaws can also lead to problems with the teeth, especially the molars, which can decrease the enjoyment of eating.

There are ways to protect your hands and arms from these vibrations and their cumulative effects. Wearing gloves can relieve some of the impact forces that are felt as can special coatings or wraps placed on the tools. The more comfortable it is to use a tool, the more pleasant the work will be.

Vibration Protection in Space

Everything that is placed on the international space station has to be carefully considered. Not only does it have to work with minimal worries about breakdowns, there also has to be a reduction of vibration. Anything that might increase vibration can potentially damage other components, including delicate tools and mechanical parts that protect the lives of everyone on board. To prevent some of the vibration damage of lowered gravity, the people aboard the space station use a specially designed treadmill that includes special vibration protection.

The treadmill itself creates vibration even when it is not in use. Once a person gets on, his or her weight (even without gravity) will increase the vibration that is generated.

How Sorbothane Can Help

Sorbothane is the perfect solution for small needs to gigantic needs. Insoles and gloves for individual needs can be adapted to many different needs for both work and leisure. Even if wearing gloves is not an option, there are Sorbothane wraps that can be used as vibration protection. The more protection you have, the less stress and exhaustion you feel, which leads to fewer problems with your health and safety. Keeping your body protected should be your most important goal because you only have one. The better you treat your body, the better it will treat you in the long run.

Sorbothane has a long list of items that can be used in your work and recreational pursuits, but there is also an option for specialization and customization. Just because you don’t see the right item listed does not mean that you cannot talk to a specialist to design it for you. Whether you are working on a new way to protect a tool or your own body from vibration and impact, the design team can help you. Contact Sorbothane today to request more information about our products and services.