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Damping Characteristics of Rubber

Damping Characteristics of Rubber

Rubber has long been hailed for its versatility and widespread applicability across various sectors.  The Damping Characteristics of Rubber leads to its ability to dampen vibrations, a characteristic that is crucial in both industrial and everyday settings.

While many recognize rubber’s damping abilities, the intricacies often go unexplored. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into what damping is, the unique damping attributes of rubber, and how specific types of rubber, such as those used in Buildtec Acoustics’ vibration isolators, serve this purpose exceptionally well.

Unpacking Damping

Damping is essentially the process of reducing the amplitude of oscillations in a mechanical system. When an object is set into motion, it oscillates around its equilibrium point. The role of damping is to absorb the kinetic energy of these oscillations, converting it primarily into thermal energy, which is then dissipated.

Why is Damping Important?

  1. Avoiding Resonance: Damping is vital to prevent the destructive phenomenon of resonance in mechanical structures.
  2. Noise Reduction: Damping inherently cuts down on noise by absorbing vibrations.
  3. Enhanced Comfort: In vehicles, for example, damping can significantly improve the ride quality by reducing the effects of road bumps.

The Science Behind Rubber and Damping

Rubber is a visco-elastic material, meaning it combines both viscous and elastic properties. When subjected to stress, the internal molecular friction within rubber converts mechanical energy into heat. This is the essence of rubber’s damping capabilities.

Types of Damping in Rubber

  • Hysteretic Damping: Predominantly found in rubber, it involves the absorption of energy during cyclic loading and unloading. Cyclic loading and unloading refer to the repeated application and removal of mechanical stress or force on a material or structure over time. During this process, the material experiences cycles of deformation and recovery, alternating between loaded (stressed) and unloaded (stress-free) states.
  • Coulomb Damping: Less common in rubber, this form is related to sliding friction and is independent of velocity.

Rubber in Buildtec Acoustics’ Vibration Isolators

Buildtec Acoustics utilises specific types of rubber, often Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBR), known for its high abrasion resistance and ageing stability. SBR is particularly effective at hysteretic damping, making it an excellent choice for absorbing and dissipating energy.

Unique Properties for Damping

  • High Damping Coefficient: SBR rubber in Buildtec anti vibration pads & anti vibration mounts can absorb a considerable amount of energy due to its high damping coefficient.anti vibration mounts
  • Versatility: Effective across a broad range of frequencies.
  • Durability: Resistant to wear and tear, thereby ensuring longevity.

Acoustic Isolation with SBR

In many acoustic insulation products, SBR fibres and granules are hot-compacted using a latex adhesive. This unique construction enhances the acoustic isolation properties, making these products not just good at vibration damping but also excellent at reducing sound transmission.

Applications and Benefits

  • Industrial Machinery: For controlling mechanical vibrations and lessening noise pollution.
  • Construction Sector: Used extensively to isolate vibrations in foundational and structural components.
  • Transportation: Applied in vehicle suspensions to improve the comfort and longevity of the ride.


Understanding the damping characteristics of rubber is essential to appreciate its broad range of applications and functionalities. Companies like Buildtec Acoustics leverage these unique properties by using specialized types of rubber like SBR in their vibration isolators. The acoustic isolation attributes of SBR, especially when hot-compacted with a latex adhesive, extend its utility to soundproofing applications as well. Thus, the science of damping offers us valuable insights into the versatile applications of rubber, from vibration control to acoustic isolation

If you have any questions on vibration isolation for yoru project  or require further information, please contact our expert support team at 07553473877.

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