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Use Quality Elastomers, Seals and Gaskets to Control Noise in Appliances

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Appliance manufacturers today should ensure that high-quality products are noiseless and meet customer expectations. The right choice of elastomer products for vibration isolation and structural damping can delight consumers with high-performance and noiseless products. Elastomers are ideal for structural damping and vibrational isolation, and are manufactured as per precise model design. Custom-made composites of sound absorbers and damping materials integrated into a product design have the capacity to control noise sources in any operating device’s acoustic signature in a cost-effective way.

Choice of Elastomers

You can use an array of elastomers for vibration isolation and structural damping including customized molded parts, rolls, sheets, and die cuts. Through proper designing and engineering, these products can be custom-made for big room air-conditioners or small consumer electronics. Damping material density for structural damping depends on factors like dominant noise frequencies, depth of substrates, and operating temperature range. If you are using a heavy-gauge steel product, you’ll need a thick extensional damping material instead of a lightweight and thin aluminum enclosure. Use multi-function and multi-layer composites to reduce airborne noise and structural vibration problems associated with appliances.

Elastomers for Structural Damping

Elastomer products for structural damping address issues like impact-generated sound and steady-state vibration in device panels. Elastomers dispel vibrational energy before the same can emanate from the panels as noise. Materials such as aluminum, glass, lightweight composites, and steel employed in the appliance industry emit sound because of their minimum internal damping and extreme stiffness. To lessen the noise level of systems, use highly damped and quality elastomers for sound radiators. Most of these products used to reduce noise are viscoelastic. This means that such elastomer products have the capacity to store strain energy when deformed while dispelling some amount of the energy via hysteresis. Elastomers used for structural damping may vary widely in terms of shape or form. You can get them in die cut shapes, roll and sheet forms and with or without any peel-and-stick adhesives sensitive to pressure. Other products are available as paint-on, spray-on, and trowel-on materials.

Structural damping, no matter whether it is constrained-layer or extensional, offers the best solution to manage problems associated with appliance noise. There is no need to opt for 100 percent panel coverage all the time to manage appliance noise problems. That’s because even 50 percent panel coverage will result in a minimal sound reduction. It will be about 3dB less than what is achieved with full panel coverage. The right selection and use of damping materials is economical as well as acoustically effective.

Elastomer Products for Vibrational Isolation

Vibrational isolation from one system to the other can be achieved by using isolation mounts. They are different in terms of function and form from conventional and undamped products like neoprene, natural rubber or metal springs. High-quality isolation mounts are made from exotic materials with excellent internal damping properties. Without damping materials, internal components are damaged due to large forces developing at or near resonance frequencies. Ordinary rubber mounts are not ideal for noise reduction in appliances as they have inadequate damping properties at low frequencies. Quality isolation solutions use high-quality elastomers to offer damping and spring force to reduce noise. This can’t be achieved by traditional isolators such as rubber or steel springs.

The amplification capacity of elastomer isolators at the system resonance frequency is just 3.5 dB in comparison to 20 dB or more for a rubber isolator. Since an elastomer has high damping properties, it is capable of reducing system amplification response at or near natural frequency. Damped elastomers ensure steady performance for appliances like washers and dryers that have to undergo changing conditions from start-up to the operating steady-state. This also holds true for appliances like lab equipment and precision electronic devices that are subjected to random shock inputs. Use highly damped elastomer products for structural damping or vibration isolation. The right design and engineering will reduce noise and vibration and enhance precision.

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