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How to Select a Vibration Isolator ( part 2 )
May 25, 2018

How to Select a Vibration Isolator ( part 2 )

Ambient Environment — The environment in which the equipment is to be used is very important to the selection of an isolator. Within the topic of the environment, the temperature is by far the most critical item. Variations in temperature can cause variations in the performance of many typical vibration/shock isolators. Thus, it is quite important to know the temperatures to which the system will be exposed. The majority of common isolators are elastomeric. Elastomers tend to stiffen and gain damping at low temperatures and to soften and lose damping at elevated temperatures. The amount of change depends on the type of elastomer selected for a particular installation.

Other Environmental Effects — Effects from humidity, ozone, atmospheric pressure, altitude, etc. are minimal and may typically be ignored. Some external factors that may not be thought of as environmental may impact on the selection of an isolator. Fluids (oils, fuels, coolants, etc.) which may come in contact with the isolators can cause a change in the material selection or the addition of some form of protection for the isolators. The level of fluid exposure (immersion vs. splash) is a determining factor.

Service Life — The length of time for which an isolator is expected to function effectively is another strong determining factor in the selection or design process. Vibration isolators, like other engineering structures, have finite lives. Those lives depend on the loads imposed on them. The prediction of the life of a vibration/shock isolator depends on the distribution of loads over the typical operating spectrum of the equipment being isolated. Typically, the longer the desired life of the isolator, the larger that isolator must be for a given set of operating parameters. The definition of the isolator operating conditions is important to any reliable prediction of life.

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