Vibration isolators comprise a wide variety of devices used to protect
machines and appliances from damage due to vibration, and to keep the
devices level and stationary where required. A variety of vibration
isolation devices are available that provide a combination of vibration
control and leveling qualities. These include: vibration mounts,
leveling pads, bumpers, shock mounts, and bushings. Other components
used to reduce the effects of vibration are shock absorbers, engine
mounts and rubber pads.
Controlling the effects of vibration is an important element of many processes as unbridled vibration can lead to a variety of problems, including equipment malfunction and inaccurate product manufacturing, as uncontrolled motion results in unnecessary wear and tear on machine components. Therefore, advantages to employing vibration control parts include reduced maintenance costs, improved worker safety as machines are not as at risk for wear and tear, and higher output as machinery can typically run at faster speeds if vibration and deceleration are controlled. Vibration isolating devices are used commonly in electromechanical equipment, small appliances as well as larger machinery and transportation equipment. Many vibration isolators are available in stock sizes which are adequate for a number of applications. However, custom specifications can also be met in terms of dimensions, mounting style and the type of materials used, as well as many other factors.
When choosing a vibration isolating system, the weight and size of the equipment and the type of elastomer best suited for the application are important considerations. Vibration, which may come from both external and internal sources, consists of a series of oscillations that move at a cyclic pace at varying frequencies. Internal vibration is often caused by an imbalance between equipment components. Vibration isolators isolate the equipment to which they are attached, preventing the spread of vibrations throughout the equipment components. Vibration isolators are common because they are often cost-effective, easy to install, and have a long life. Other influential factors include other forces, such as shock and noise that may affect the equipment and substances, including chemicals and oils, to which the isolator may be subjected. Vibration isolation devices may also be used to level a device or machine to ensure that it remains stable. Elastomeric materials are often used, such as rubber pads or mounts, which are naturally slip resistant. This prevents a machine from moving as a result of vibration. Rather, the energy is absorbed by the rubber placed between the machine and the floor.