What is the constant material damping coefficient?

February 03, 2015

What is the constant material damping coefficient?

The material damping coefficient is a number furnished by the manufacturer that describes the materials characteristic and ability in a damping system. Engineers use this number to evaluate different material’s ability to return energy to a system. The material damping coefficient is a property that indicates whether a material will bounce back. For example, a basketball has a low damping coefficient because it bounces back. In order to stop the basketball from bouncing back, we would need a floor with a material that has a high damping coefficient on the surface. It is like the commercial with the bowling ball dropping on the mattress. There is no bounce back because the mattress has a high damping coefficient. It swallows the energy and reduces the reaction of the system.

What applications use the constant material damping coefficient?

Measurements like this are required when evaluating material and system responses to dynamic loading conditions. Materials with high damping coefficients are used in applications of shock absorption, vibration control, noise reduction, and dissipating increased heat. Engineers use damping coefficients to compare materials to see which will be the best one for the application. This number describes the behavior of the material in a damped system. The higher the number on the coefficient, the more absorption, control, and reduction is indicated. Damping applications require a high coefficient to be effective.

What material has a very high damping coefficient?

Sorbothane® has a superior damping coefficient, over a very wide temperature range, compared to any other polymer. It is a viscoelastic polymer that flows like a liquid under load. It combines shock absorption, good memory, vibration isolation and vibration damping characteristics. While many other materials exhibit one of these characteristics, Sorbothane combines all of them in a stable material with a long fatigue life over a very wide temperature range. No synthetic rubber or polymer can dissipate energy as effectively. It is easy to cut to size so it easily can be fitted to any application. Sorbothane is very tolerant of temperature changes and can be used in extreme temperatures. It is also tolerant of most chemicals, so it may be used in environments that many other damping materials cannot.

In what applications can Sorbothane be used?

Sorbothane is very versatile. It can be used in a wide variety of applications to reduce excessive vibration, dissipate increased heat, or reduce the strain and stress of using a machine for the operator. Sorbothane has a complete range of damping material properties. It prevents vibrational creep, the action of a machine moving out of place due to the vibrations during operation.

Sorbothane is great in the audio and electronics area, too. Audio experts from around the world recognize Sorbothane as the leading material for absorbing and cancelling vibrations that can adversely affect audio and video performance. Sorbothane is used in shock/vibration mounts, stud mounts, and grommets/bushings in fields such as electronics/audio equipment.

It is used for protection from drop shock damage in hand held devices such as bar code scanners, PDAs, cell phones and portable medical devices. Sorbothane isolators are found in desktops, laptops and wearable PCs. It is used in insoles for runners, packaging for electronics, lining the walls of acoustic test chambers and wave tanks, and shock absorption and recoil reduction for gun owners. Sorbothane can be found anywhere from protecting the NASA shuttle camera during launch to wraps for tool handles for craftsmen. Sorbothane floor mats cushion against damages to items dropped and a shock absorbing pad can be placed inside a baseball glove.

If you don’t see your use listed, be sure to contact our engineers. We may already have a product that does it, or we can custom fit your application.