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Perhaps the application that we most readily think of when we hear the word ‘vibration’ is of a cellphone with a disabled ringtone. However, vibration is a much more commonly occurring phenomenon and is a reality of most machinery and motors. While you may not know it, many objects, largely created by humans produce vibrations. Some of them have a lower intensity, so that it won’t be detected as easily, while some vibrations can cause the entire ground to tremble. The output of the vibration depends greatly on the item which is producing it. The parameters which are included are the size of the object, its purpose and the power resources which are enabling it able to operate. For example, an electric toothbrush, powered by a generic battery will of course never be able to produce the vibrations that a car engine would.

How can the vibrations be influenced?

vibration-damping-shifter-cartridge-1024x682Depending on the source, the noise and severity of vibrations can be quite loud and distracting. Additionally, for particularly strong vibrating sources, the vibration can even lead to performance and wear issues for the machine that is producing them as an unintended consequence of that which they are intended to do. While vibrations are a necessary evil for the mechanism to work, they can severely impact a workforce or user experience and can even reduce the service life of the machine which is the source of the vibration. This is the reason vibration dampening methods were invented, as to ‘silence’ the vibrating object, to a certain point, while still allowing it to function without any major disturbances. Not only does this improve the user experience, but it can also add several years of service life to a machine which otherwise would have broken down over time due to the cumulative effect of vibration. When intending to dampen vibration, the main focus is on frequency. Certain materials have the capability to change the natural frequency of the vibrating object. If the frequency is lowered, consequently, less noise will be emitted. In physics, the word ‘damping’ defines restricting certain oscillations within an oscillatory system. The purpose of vibration dampening is to introduce a certain material to stop the vibration from affecting a user and the machine’s or product’s performance. There are different types of vibrations and sources which may cause them.

What is the most effective vibration damping material?

A lot of different vibration damping material sorts have been discovered. Not all of them are equally effective. Among common choices, you have K-Foam, flexible noise barriers and duct liners, but one of the most widely used materials is Sorbothane. The reason this is the most popular choice among all of the materials which exist is because Sorbothane is the only material which offers versatility. Most of the viscoelastic materials mentioned earlier have certain characteristics which make them eligible to aid in vibration damping. Those characteristics are shock absorption, vibration isolation and good memory. Most of the materials listed above only exhibit one of these characteristics, whereas Sorbothane happens to offer all of them, which makes it incomparably superior to all of the other materials. The reason Sorbothane is able to incorporate all of the optimal characteristics required for successful vibration damping is because of its properties. It is created by combining polyol and isocyanate. The first one is a chemical, while the second one is an organic compound. Along with the main two ingredients, rubber and silicone are used in the creation. Seeing as it is a visco-elastic material, it has the properties of both a liquid and the solid aggregate state. The time needed for it to harden is approximately two seconds. It is a very well known fact that visco-elastic materials are extremely valuable properties for vibration applications.

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