Deforming damping elements

May 1, 2009
Like an air bag, some single and limited-use shock-absorbing elements transform kinetic energy from impact into deformation work.

Like an air bag, some single and limited-use shock-absorbing elements transform kinetic energy from impact into deformation work.

Some designs such as packaging-machinery frames rarely if ever endure internal shock loading or impact. In other cases, often in end-user products, designs are lower in cost. In both instances, deforming damping elements made of synthetic material can provide emergency or lightweight shock protection suitably scaled to the application at hand. In fact, a trend towards smaller, lighter, and budget-priced components in tool manufacturing, wind-driven turbines, vehicle construction, and mechanical engineering has spurred the use of deforming dampers.

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How do they look? Before impact, the dampers are thick-walled cylinders made of wear-resistant quality thermoplast. A hole in the middle allows simple bolt attachment to machines. Upon impact, the cylinder folds or shrinks into a discus shape. Afterwards, the unit either remains crushed or resumes most of its previous shape.

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