Vibration Suppression Explained

February 02, 2015

Vibration suppression is the practice of using damping, isolation or a cancellation solution to reduce or eliminate vibrations that would otherwise result in loss of performance or limit the useful life of a system. Tackling the most challenging problems related to vibration suppression is what Sorbothane® was invented for. Its unique, liquid solid (Visco-elastic) properties make it the material of choice for vibration suppression and isolation pads and much more.


A common approach to vibration suppression is adding damping. Vibration damping dissipates some of the vibration energy by transforming it to heat. By selecting the right vibration damping material you can suppress or eliminate noise and vibration in industrial, electronic, structural and ergonomic applications caused by vibration and damaging resonance.

In a lightly damped system when the forcing frequency nears the natural frequency the amplitude (the maximum displacement of a vibrating particle or body from its position of rest) of the vibration can get extremely high. This phenomenon is called resonance and this is what we’re trying to suppress. If resonance occurs in a mechanical system it can be very harmful – leading to eventual failure of the system.


Isolation is often an effective means of vibration suppression when there is a limited path for transmission from a vibrating structure to a sensitive component, or from a noisy component to the rest of the system. Vibration isolation is how you isolate an object, such as a piece of equipment, from the source of the damaging vibrations. A vibration isolator takes mechanical energy out of the system so it’s no longer a concern – therefore suppressing vibration and potential damage to the system.

A properly implemented vibration isolation material also lowers the natural frequency of a system to below the excitation frequency to eliminate the potential for resonance. When you keep these frequencies “out of sync” it will greatly reduce the potential for vibration. Resonance can potentially cause catastrophic failure so using a good vibration isolation material to suppress vibrations is very important.

Sorbothane combines shock absorption, good memory, vibration isolation and vibration damping characteristics. While many materials exhibit one of these characteristics, Sorbothane® combines all of them in a stable material with a long fatigue life that’s made in the U.S.A.

For more information about Sorbothane’s vibration suppression solutions, contact us today.