What Types Of Materials Are Best For Shock Absorption?

February 04, 2015

What Is Shock?

Sorbothane Soft-Blow MalletTo understand what types of materials are best for shock absorption, one must understand shock, why shock absorption is important, and how shock energy is absorbed. What is shock? Shock is the effect on an object caused by the energy delivered to it by a force, usually an impact force, over a short time period. The effect of shock occurs when the energy of the impact is transferred from one individual or object to another. This wave of energy can cause injury or damage to the affected individuals or objects.

Why Is Shock Absorption Important?

Because shock is usually associated with adverse effects to objects or individuals, it will ultimately cause inefficiencies, such as waste, rework, and downtime. Shock absorption, therefore, increases the lifespan and/or the safe operation of the application.

How Is Shock Energy Absorbed?

A process called damping—the dispersion or disruption of the energy caused by shock’s impact forces—absorbs the energy from shock by decreasing the amplitude (strength) of the shock energy’s wave or by changing the wave’s frequency. Absorption reduces or eliminates the adverse effects, injury, or damage to an object or individual caused by shock.

What Are the Most Important Characteristics of a Shock Absorption Material?

Soft Blow MalletTo be effective, a shock absorption material must have the capacity to eliminate or reduce oscillations across a wide range of frequencies. To be effective in an industrial environment, a shock absorption material must perform well in a wide range of temperatures, even changing temperatures, regardless of the source of the shock, over an extended period of time.

What Is Sorbothane®?

Sorbothane is a proprietary, thermoset, polyether-based polyurethane material with visco-elastic properties—that is, it acts as a liquid to absorb shock and as an elastic solid when at rest. It performs by converting the impact of the shock energy to a small amount of heat.

As an industrial material, Sorbothane is resistant to fire and chemical solvents found in an industrial environment. It also performs through a wide range of temperatures and millions of cycles without degrading in performance.

Why Is Sorbothane the Best Material for Shock Absorption?

Sorbothane was specifically designed for shock absorption and is manufactured to outperform every other material on the market. What makes Sorbothane the best material for shock absorption?

  • It absorbs more than 90% of shock energy and more than 50% of vibration energy;
  • It performs in temperatures ranging from –20° to 160° Fahrenheit (–29° to 72° Celsius)];
  • It performs at frequencies ranging from 10 to 30,000 Hertz;
  • It’s damping ratio is 0.344 at 2.34 HZ;
  • It doesn’t support bacterial or fungal growth and is relatively unaffected by industrial solvents such as diesel fuel, kerosene, and hydraulic fluid;
  • It has an extremely long shelf life; and
  • It has a superior damping coefficient.

Contact Us

The Sorbothane product line includes superior shock absorbing bushings and washers for use in machinery and high performance isolation feet to isolate noise and vibration in system components. In addition, Sorbothane is available in strips and sheet stock. It can be fabricated in sizes, shapes, and colors based on your specifications, as well.

Interested in learning how Sorbothane can provide a solution for your product or idea? Request a quote from Sorbothane today.