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03-21-2017

Targeted Pressure to Modify Material Properties

Highly Efficient Dampers Made of Conventional Material

At the 2nd WAK symposium held in Fürth in the South of Germany, on February 23, Prof. Igor Emri from the Center of Experimental Mechanics (CEM) at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, announced a breakthrough: He explained that his patented idea could lead to sound and vibration damping by several orders of magnitude higher than at present. The idea is not about new materials, but about applying existing materials under changed conditions.

  • Prof. Igor Emri from the center of experimental mechanics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (© Hanser/K.Klotz)

    Prof. Igor Emri from the center of experimental mechanics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (© Hanser/K.Klotz)

  • Development of new damping elements: aim and proceedings of the research group (© CEM)

    Development of new damping elements: aim and proceedings of the research group at the Center of Experimental Mechanics (CEM) at Ljubljana University (© CEM)

  • Limitations of the materials used for damping elements up until now (© CEM)

    Limitations of the materials used for damping elements up until now (© CEM)

  • Pressure shifts damping characteristic: A comparison of frequently used materials such as PA 6 (polyamide), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) (© Hanser/K.Klotz; source: presentation by Prof. Emri)

    Pressure shifts damping characteristic: A comparison of frequently used materials such as PA 6 (polyamide), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) (© Hanser/K.Klotz; source: presentation by Prof. Emri)

  • Pressure dependence: Measurement curve for TPU and the measuring equipment developed by the Center of Experimental Mechanics at Ljubljana University (© CEM)

    Pressure dependence: Measurement curves for TPU and the measuring equipment developed by the Center of Experimental Mechanics (© CEM)

  • Prototype: The damping element contains pellet materials submitted to pressure (© Hanser/K.Klotz; source: presentation by Prof. Emri)

    Prototype: The damping element contains pellet materials submitted to pressure (© Hanser/K.Klotz; source: presentation by Prof. Emri)

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Dissipation Process Is Crucial

His solution is based on the recognition that the energy dissipation of a material is not based on the material as such. It is rather determined by the pressure a material is submitted to. Applying (relatively high) hydrostatic pressure can therefore improve a material’s damping behavior significantly, because this enables higher absorption values for the desired vibration frequencies.

However, the problem with elastomers is their poor resistance to high uniaxial loads. Emri’s trick is to use pellets of the right particle sizes, so that they behave like a fluid. According to his statements, this can improve absorption by a factor of approx. 10,000, at 6000 bars pressure, in theory. Virtually speaking, pressures up to approx. 1000 bars can be handled.

Proof of Concept

In order to prove the functionality of the concept, Emri built a prototype with simple means, where shredded waste tires are compressed by a plunger in a tubular container. He states that he reached 109 bars and energy absorption was improved by 12, after all.

Emri considers the approach suitable for applications with no harmonic vibrations, but rather with impulse vibrations such as earthquakes, or for regular operation in railroad ties, washing machines or industrial machines. At present, he is working on a field test for the system, while there are plans for later marketing.

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