Industrial equipment in operational condition can generate significant amounts of vibration. Though these vibrations cannot be eliminated, they need to be controlled, or dampened, as failure to do so can lead to many problems that affect a machine’s performance and service life.
Without adequate vibration dampening, machinery vibrations accelerate the wear and tear of every single tooling component, which ultimately leads to a faster breakdown of machine parts. The constant vibrational motion produces cyclical stress. These repetitive stresses accumulate and cause machinery failure, thereby reducing the service life of equipment. Due to vibrations, machine maintenance can become a constant bottleneck requiring excessive down time to service equipment and parts. Hence vibration control is critical as it prevents excessive movement and reduces the wear on machine components, saving time and money on maintenance.
Apart from improving machine service life, vibration dampening also safeguards workers as vibrations can generate high noise levels. As per OSHA regulations, there are limits on the average noise level under which a worker can work in an eight-hour shift, and vibration control keeps the noise below this threshold Vibration control in machinery reduces the ambient sound level and can help in reducing the maximum sound level present. Hence, effective vibration control is a wise investment both in terms of machine performance and worker safety.
In order to ensure worker safety and extend the service life of equipment, vibration control devices should be utilized. There are various methods for controlling vibration. One method utilizes leveling pads in order to maintain machine balance. Similar to washing machines, industrial equipment will shift and begin to vibrate if it is running off balance, which can cause damage and excessive noise. This is one of the easiest and cheapest methods to correct uneven floors or machinery that does not have uniform distribution of its weight during operation. Vibration pads can also be used for vibration control as it reduces noise by simply absorbing and muffling vibrations.
Another method of vibration control includes the usage of vibration mounts. Identical to shocks in an automobile, vibration mounts generate a mechanical or pneumatic dampening effect to cancel out vibrations by producing an equal and opposite force to the vibration. A mechanical vibration mount typically comprises of a high-tension spring identical a car’s shocks. Pneumatic devices utilize either liquid or compressed air to nullify shock by either filling or emptying a cylinder support.
For applications and equipment in which vibration cannot be controlled via a vibration pad or mount, there is a third solution available. The use of injection moldable, high density thermoplastic materials is also a great way to deliver vibration dampening solutions. High in mass, these materials can be custom compounded to the exact density required by the application, giving part makers the ability to design, produce and assemble the precise size, shape and mass of a balance-weight required. These materials can be compounded up to 11 g/cc and can be molded into complex geometries, giving part makers the freedom to design the exact counterbalance, vibration control component they need, and nothing more. Furthermore, the nature of these high density materials makes them natural sound dampeners, adding value by reducing equipment noise as well.
The various solutions for leveling industrial equipment and dampening vibration provide numerous ways to avoid any unneeded wear and tear of machinery or any potential risk to worker’s hearing as even low-level vibrations and sound levels can pose risk to both man and machine.
Ecomass Technologies has long been a pioneer in providing innovative solutions for vibration control through advanced composite materials and engineered thermoplastics. Hence, come to Ecomass Technologies with your vibration dampening problems and leave with a solution.