Machine Design

Wire rope ties down shock and vibration

More and more, equipment manufacturers are designing miniature electronics into their machines. However, when these machines are used in harsh environments, sensitive electronics often cannot withstand ongoing shock and vibration.

The electronic components must be isolated. Existing solutions, such as elastomeric mounts, can withstand vibration but are limited in their response to shock inputs. Additionally, elastomers may not be able to withstand certain chemicals and temperature extremes. That's why engineers from Enidine Inc., Orchard Park, N.Y., developed the SteelPaw Compact Rope Isolator Series.

Smaller than traditional wire rope isolators, these new devices handle simultaneous shock and vibration attenuation. Their small size allows for isolating individual components rather than the entire system.

Here's how they work. As the isolators deflect under load, the wire cable bends, creating a spring force which offers protective support. When the multistrand wire cable flexes, it creates friction between the wire strands which converts the kinetic energy into thermal energy (heat), dissipating the energy created by the vibration or impact.

Several heights, widths, and cable diameters are available to accommodate different load capacities. And, with just two mounting points, as opposed to traditional isolators with four mounting points, the new units are said to be easy to install. Because the Compact Rope Isolators use aluminum bars and stainless-steel wire rope, they are corrosion resistant and can operate consistently at temperatures ranging from -150 to 500*F. The isolators are not only suitable for harsh environments but also lightweight applications such as disk drives, medical equipment, mobile electronics, small pumps and motors, and avionics equipment.

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