Vibration Damping

Vibrations occur when inaccurately made parts move.  When designing a product, many problems stem from mechanical vibrations.  Vibrations cause noise, which make the product undesirable to use.  Vibrations cause excessive wear and tear on the product and they can even limit the product’s usefulness.  Within a product, the vibrations are reflected around the structure, building up in areas where the frequency of vibration is close to the natural frequency of the part.  This, unfortunately, can lead to the catastrophic failure of the part. Unfortunately, all products that have moving parts experience mechanical vibrations.

Vibration dampening is the study of limiting and removing vibration energy from a system.  There are three basic ways to solve this issue. The first is to make the product more accurately.  This can be extremely expensive and, in some cases, impossible.  The second way is to design the product such that its natural frequency is far away from the vibration frequencies.  In order to do this well, it requires a good bit of expertise, and it often is not enough to adequately solve the problem.  This leads to the third method, using materials that absorb vibrations.  Vibration dampening materials generally add up to a very small percentage of the cost to manufacture the product.  This means that heavily relying on these materials is an excellent way to improve the quality of your product.

Unfortunately, there is a direct correlation between the effectiveness of the material and how soft it is.  This means that materials that are good at dampening vibrations have very little structural strength and wear resistance.  Nitinol is the exception to this rule.  Nitinol’s vibration dampening properties are similar to that of a silicone rubber, but its strength is similar to titanium, so it can be used as a structural component.  Also, nitinol’s hardness exceeds that of high speed steel, so it can be used in high wear applications.  Do you want to see how dramatically nitinol can improve your product quality?  Don’t hesitate to contact our applications engineers at 855-583-5353 Option #2 or Info@KelloggsResearchLabs.com.

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