What is Impact Force and How to Protect Against It

February 03, 2015

When considering situations in which your products, equipment, and workers are subjected to impact, it is important that you understand—just impact force. Impact force is a force that delivers a shock or high impact in a relatively short period of time. It occurs when two entities collide. This collision is the result of one object falling onto, or slamming into, another object. This collision delivers a shock as energy that is transferred to the impacted entity(s). This energy is what causes damage to vehicles during an automobile accident, metal machine parts slamming together, cartons of product that are jostled when a transporter hits a nasty pot hole, and the feet and joints of marathon runners as they pound the pavement.

How You Can Protect Against Impact Force

So, let me answer your question—just what is impact force and how to protect against it? Impact force transfers the energy of the shock of a collision to your products, equipment, and workers. Clearly this is unwanted energy that causes damage and injury and, ultimately, rework, waste, and downtime. This unwanted energy is causing undesirable consequences that will negatively impact your bottom line. To remedy this situation, you must find a way to absorb this energy safely and effectively before it impacts your products, equipment, or workers. Sorbothane® is the most efficient energy absorbing material on the market. The use of Sorbothane is the best protection against damage, loss, and injury due to impact force.

What is Sorbothane and how does it protect against impact force?

Sorbothane is a unique proprietary viscoelastic polymer. Viscoelastic means that Sorbothane exhibits properties of both liquids (viscous solutions—ones that can flow) and solids (elastic materials). Sorbothane flows like a liquid when it is under a load (experiencing impact force). It acts like an elastic solid by returning to its original shape after forces are removed. Unique to viscoelastic materials, Sorbothane safely disperses absorbed energy (from impact force) outward from the source of impact in the form of heat, protecting materials, products, machinery, and workers. In many applications, Sorbothane has achieved shock absorption of near 95%, and it absorbs shock efficiently for millions of cycles. It can also withstand the broad range of temperatures encountered in the workplace and during shipping without hardening, melting, becoming sticky, or losing its effectiveness. Sorbothane is specified by engineers worldwide for its shock reducing properties. It is scientifically proven to be the finest cushioning material available.

Standard Sorbothane Products and Customization

The Sorbothane line includes standard products that will protect against impact force. Our Sorbothane Bushings and Washers, available in a variety of sizes, are essential for absorbing shock in machinery. When used together, they create a floating bolt that isolates the unit from damaging metal-to-metal contact. When shipping containers of sensitive hardware, optics, or electronics, protection from impact forces is supplied by Sorbothane Pallet Isolation Rings—rings that will absorb shock before it reaches your delicate cargo. In addition, your workers can benefit from our unique products, such as our Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet. Our mallet is often used for auto body and fine carpentry applications since it conforms to irregular surfaces for maximum contact, without denting or marring. And, because the impact from the blow is dissipated within the Sorbothane material, hand jarring and impact shock is virtually eliminated for your workers. To meet your specific shock absorption needs, Sorbothane Strips and Sheet Stock are offered. Customization is also available by contacting our engineering staff.

Sorbothane can fulfill your unique impact force absorption needs

Since its introduction in 1982, Sorbothane has been used in many impact force absorption applications. Our engineers partnered with NASA to design a unique Sorbothane isolator that protects the vital shuttle cameras from such forces during launch.

Contact Sorbothane for further information on our standard products or to find out how our engineers can work with you to develop a unique solution for you.