Shock absorbers are designed to absorb kinetic energy and to provide
linear deceleration for the operation of various machines and equipment
in a wide range of industries. Noise disturbance, component damage from
excessive or prolonged vibration and considerations for worker safety
and machine reliability are all reasons why manufacturers use shock
absorbers or shock mounts in many applications.
Installed to dampen vibrations caused by sudden or uneven motion and mechanical shocks, shock absorbers can vary from miniature sizes on small machines and appliances to large, heavy-duty shocks used in structural engineering or railway systems. Shock absorbers vary in terms of design according to their intended application; varieties include hysteresis, hydraulics and pneumatics. Hydraulic shock absorbers are composed of a cylinder and a piston rod. The shock load impacts the rod, forcing into a hydraulic liquid which absorbs the kinetic energy and changes it to heat. Pneumatic shocks use a similar principle using the resistance of air to absorb the kinetic energy. Systems using the principle of hysteresis employ the elasticity of rubber and/or springs to absorb energy and reduce shock. Automobile suspension systems, aircraft landing gear and industrial machine support are common uses for shock absorbers. Other uses include in large buildings or structures as a preventative measure against earthquakes or tremors and to stop trains and subways cars from swaying excessively.
Advantages to using shock systems include a longer machine life as parts are not worn down as quickly, fast speeds of operation due to increased deceleration methods and smoother machinery running and improved vibration control. Typically safer machinery operation is another benefit to employing shock absorbers in an industrial application as well as reduced noise factor. Shock absorbers, as with many industrial components, are available in stock sizes which are more than suitable for many applications. However, they are also available in custom specifications such as size, deceleration or vibration absorption capacity and type. Shock absorbers are also able to be adjusted in terms of mounting set-up in relation to the application, as well as material choice. Especially in situations where water and/or fluid will be a featuring component, corrosive resistant materials are essential and industrial shock absorbers are often made in stainless steel and epoxy covered materials in to ensure a long shock absorber life span. Other products such as rubber bumpers or pads, engine mounts and cylinder cushions are used for the same purpose in applications in which a shock absorber might not be the best solution.