It is a fact that everything within the boundaries of our knowledge is moving, in other words vibrating, including machines. All machines, from the simplest to the most complicated and from the smallest to the biggest, vibrate. It is normal, and these vibrations allow them to function, be them heavy industrial machines, laptops, or home appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, etc. Their amplitude differs from one device to another. On the other hand, there are abnormal vibrations that affect appliances negatively. And here comes the role of vibration isolation. In this article, you will be acquainted with the causes of unusual vibration, its harmful effects, and how to stop it and achieve successful vibration isolation, which brings us to the significant role of a Vibration Isolator.
What causes abnormal vibration
Generally, you need to know that high-quality, well-designed appliances are way less likely to cause vibration issues than poorly-made ones. With that being said, we can go into further details and say that various factors could cause machines to vibrate harmfully, including:
- Worn parts: The machines’ components could wear out due to the passing of time, excessive use, or lack of maintenance, which possibly causes vibration and noise. The worn parts could be a pitted roller bearing, chipped gears, broken down drive belt, etc.
- Out-of-line rotating shafts: cause misalignment, which could ultimately lead the machine to vibrate. Shafts of the device should be in parallel motion. Minor vibrations result from angular misalignment; the larger the differences in motion are, the more severe the damage is.
- Imbalanced machine’s axis: This one applies to appliances that rotate, such as washing machines. In this case, the imbalance could occur when you do not put the laundry in the right way. Shortly, the machine’s axis has to be balanced.
Abnormal vibration pauses risks on the productivity and safety of the machines and appliances. These harmful vibrations also cause excessive noise due to friction or imbalance, and they could ultimately lead to failure in the machine if left untreated. The risks of vibrated appliances bring us to one of the most efficient ways to prevent them or lower them to the minimum, to be accurate; this would be vibration isolators.
The vibration isolators
Vibration isolation is generally a process that allows isolating something, such as equipment, from the cause of vibration. The vibration isolators may be unnoticeable for being hidden from sight, yet they play a significant role in our daily life, more than you probably think. They have been facilitating life for many and lengthening the life of machines and appliances from heavy ones like industrial and naval engines, trains, cars, and even the constructions of the buildings where we live, to relevantly lighter devices that a modern home cannot do without. There are both passive and active vibration isolation methods. The first employs materials and mechanical linkages to absorb the mechanical waves that carry vibrations. The later is about using sensors and actuators that cause disruptive interference to cancel the incoming vibration. A foremost benefit of a vibration isolator is that it saves you the noise that comes from a vibrating machine, which could affect your body, specifically ears, and mind negatively, for this vibration could be a source of permanent noise.
Tips for successful vibration isolation
1 Consider the surrounding environment
The environment indeed affects the performance of vibration isolators. So, if they are to be exposed to specific conditions such as UV light or substances like grease, then using materials that can handle these conditions is a must. Also, keep the temperature in mind, for it is another primary factor that controls your choice; it influences the performance of the isolators.
2 Go for polymers-constructed appliances
Polymers with open cells and combinations of polymer and fibrous structures, including fiberglass, absorb vibration and therefore isolate efficiently. So, when you are buying home appliances, for example, keep in mind that the ones well-supported with polymer sheets are better for controlling vibrations.
3 High-quality isolation products
To execute an ideal vibration isolation project, always keep in mind that such perfect isolation demands high-quality products. Besides, before you install them, you indeed need a pre-study of vibrations and correct measurements, including the size, weight, and gravity center of the machine or appliance that requires isolation. It is vital for determining the suitable isolator size and load capacity that matches the weight distribution and available space within the device.
4 Vibration isolation assisting apps
There are apps specialized in vibration isolation, such as Vibration isolator Pro. It provides the necessary information and clues to solve a variety of vibratory problems. There, you are going to find the knowledge you need to DIY your vibration isolation projects. For example, you could be a boat owner whose boat engine produces annoying vibration, or maybe your washing machine or air conditioning is starting to make unbearable noise, also due to vibration.
5 Pay attention to the thickness
When you are choosing between different vibration isolations, go for thick sheets. The thicker they are, the more isolation they provide. Also, it would be better and more efficient if those sheets possess waterproof properties.
6 Rubber isolation mounts
Consider rubber mounts if you want a vibration isolator for an engine or a generator, for these are their typical applications. Rubber isolators guarantee vibration protection in three directions. They hold many advantages, including a good degree of isolation, relevantly low cost, and resistance to oil and grease.
7 Oil could absorb a bit
Oil is not exactly a vibration isolator; it cannot insulate vibration. However, it could absorb some of the vibration energy, lessening its effect a bit. The first job of oil in this regard is that it is easy to use. It has limited applications, including dealing with friction issues.
Vibration isolators have grown a necessity in the world of today, for machines and noise have become a significant part of the daily life scene. Therefore, vibration isolation is a primary choice for many who seek to lessen the surrounding noise and to lengthen the life of their appliances.