If you are hearing about vibration damping materials for the first time, you will perhaps be surprised to know that these materials are in fact widely in use. Even more surprising would be to know that you have most likely used or come into contact with these materials unknowingly at some point in your life, perhaps even daily.
Vibration damping materials utilized in several electronic and ergonomic applications for eliminating or alleviating noise caused due to vibration or resonance. For example, these material might have been present in your small gadgets, such as cell phones, or footwear. So let’s now try to understand these materials and how they work in detail!
Overview of Damping and Vibration Damping
The term ‘damping’ refers to the capability of a material to dissipate energy when under cyclical pressure. It involves converting mechanical into thermal energy, wherein the quantity of dissipation indicates the damping level of that material. A damping material tends to function by altering the natural frequency of the surface that is vibrating, which reduces the radiated noise and mounts the material’s transmission loss. Several products as well as applications are susceptible to vibration from both external and internal actions/reactions. Such vibrations can instill an effect that ranges in severity.
Comprehending the Significance of Vibration Dampening Materials in Real Life Applications
Appliances such as laptops, mobile phones, and car navigation systems can vibrate due to accidental dropping, loading and unloading, or from internal vibrators. These vibrations are often the main cause of damage to electrical connections as well as components, evident in the form of damaged disk drives, data loss, weak connection, and inefficient performance. The potential for damage and wear caused by vibrating sources has made vibration damping an essential requirement that must be addressed in the design phase.
Given the increased production and usage of mobile appliances such as smartphones and PDAs, damping has actually become indispensable due to the frequency with which such devices are dropped. As a result of how they are used, these gadgets should also be capable of handling extreme shock harmlessly. In order to address these necessities, utilizing an optimal vibration damping material is a top priority.
The other main utility of vibration damping materials is in noise reduction. Thin metal components have a tendency to transmit noise effortlessly through resonance by acoustic energy or when impacted. In several commercial and industrial applications, such vibrating metal is a problem that is easily solvable with a precise damping material.
The Damping Methods
Regardless of the application, effective regulation of noise and vibration typically requires several techniques, each ensuring a quieter surrounding. This regulation is possible through four methods in the case of most applications, namely, the use of enclosures or barriers, absorption, vibration isolation, and structural damping.
Despite overlapping, each method might generate a major reduction in noise and vibration. Vibration isolation alleviates the diffusion of vibrational energy from one product to another with the help of isolators. Some of the common isolators are rubber pads and steel springs, which are capable of isolating magnitudes of few to thousands of pounds.
In the case of structural damping, noise generated through an impact or steady state is controlled. It helps diffuse the vibrational energy before it emits as sound. However, damping represses only resonant motion, not a non-resonant, forced one.