How do vibrations occur?
Many machines generate vibrations through the rotating or oscillating motion of their unbalanced mass. These vibrations will be propagated if the machine is rigidly mounted on its base. This is often apparent from the noise which creates a disturbance, not only in the room in which the machine is located but also in rooms further away. This is usually called structure-borne noise.
In addition to creating a noise nuisance, vibrations can cause serious interference, especially to sensitive machines and instruments located nearby. They can also have an adverse effect on the human body. Machines with high rotational speeds are particularly likely to generate noise which can be the cause of reduced capacity for work, fatigue and headaches.
Why should I cushion vibrations as a general principle?
Vibration control is an efficient way of protecting people, the environment, building fabric and machinery. It reduces stress and significantly improves working conditions.
What can I do to counteract the harmful effect of vibrations?
The use of stabilisers is an effective and also economic means of minimising vibrations, shocks and noise. It is possible to take a more thorough approach to the balancing of machines to prevent vibrations, but then your manufacturing costs will mount up extremely quickly. Such additional costs can be avoided by allowing the machine to have a certain degree of imbalance and eliminating the harmful effects by means of anti-vibration mountings.
What materials are used to cushion vibrations?
The cushioning properties of steel and rubber are more widely recognised today than those of materials like cork and felt. Steel springs usually come in the form of flat coil springs and leaf springs. The advantage of steel strings is their relatively high load tolerance, but they are very limited in terms of their damping effect. In contrast to steel, rubber has a high level of internal damping. It absorbs sound and boasts good elasticity and chemical resistance. These properties make rubber a particularly functional cushioning material.
How important are the shape and design of anti-vibration mountings?
The shape of anti-vibration mountings has a decisive effect on the cushioning action. Two products made from the same material often have completely different properties. And products which appear to be identical can differ greatly in terms of their performance. Do not be deceived by apparently identical cheaper products. At STS Schwingungstechnik, we test every vibration damper individually and can optimise its efficiency. Our experts will be happy to show you which products are suitable for your requirements. This will prevent you making the expensive mistake of buying the wrong product.
Which vibrations should be minimised?
Vibrations which are generated by a plant, machine or vehicle itself. The jerks and jolts of a working machine can be cushioned by active or direct isolation. This will prevent vibrations from impacting on the base, adjoining rooms, buildings, etc. Due account must always be taken of the interference frequency, the structure of the machine and its location.
Vibrations as an external source of interference, affecting sensitive pieces of equipment such as servers, weighing machines, measuring instruments and laboratory equipment, and constituting a potential cause of malfunctions. Examples of such sources include road traffic, trains and large construction sites. Such vibrations can be deadened by passive or indirect isolation.
What other advantages does vibration damping offer?
The use of anti-vibration mountings gives you flexibility in terms of how you arrange your machinery. You will be able to dispense almost completely with conventional floor anchoring systems. The machines can be adapted to the new manufacturing processes with a few simple adjustments. And the problem of uneven floors can be easily solved with the leveller which is usually integrated.