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While many rubber isolators look the same - their performance is often not. Poor selections can slip, shift, or fail. If they do, the machine that relies on any kind of isolation could break down. This extreme and costly outcome is the result of improper isolators. If you buy, use, or install isolators of any kind, better knowledge will mitigate risk.
Read on to learn the identifiable signs of an isolator that isn’t correct for the application.
It’s essential to have a baseline understanding of how isolation mounts are supposed to function. While the physics behind the technology is involved, the visible or observable function is relatively straightforward. There are a few basic kinds of isolation mounts. These include:
Choosing the right kind of mount is the first step. If you need help with selecting a vibration isolator or any type of isolation mount, you can contact the team at RPM.
If you are confident you have the right part, installation is the next step. This must be done with expert knowledge in a way that optimizes use. If either of these steps is neglected, failure will be the result. Here’s what that looks like.
If a chosen isolation mount isn’t correct for the application, it will fail. Sometimes this is immediate, and other times it takes time. Whether right away or down the road, this failure will be costly. Here are some of the key symptoms to look for. These indicate that you don’t have the right part or suggest that the right part wasn’t installed correctly.
Adhesive bonds are a crucial part of the manufacturing of rubber mounts. The adhesive should be applied by machines to optimize consistency and ensure that it is done the same way each time. If you see metal peeling off of rubber, you immediately know that you have a bond problem.
For excellent bonds in rubber parts, the rubber should tear before the bond. This strength ensures that a part will not fail. If the metal is pulling away from the rubber or peeling it apart and seeing adhesive, you have an inferior part that should not be used.
There are many kinds of rubber. The part you purchase or are considering may be made of an elastomer or natural rubber. One of these isn’t categorically better than the other. Different materials are right for various applications.
If the rubber part is tearing, swelling or cracking, it is the wrong material for the job.
Natural rubber and various elastomers have different kinds of tolerances for things like heat and chemicals. Depending on the machine, these tolerances will matter. For instance, if the part will regularly be exposed to high temperatures, gas, or an outdoor environment, a specific elastomer should be chosen to withstand that dynamic.
This is an area of knowledge that will be supplied for you by qualified rubber manufacturers. If you have any questions, you should be able to contact their sales team. At RPM, we work directly with clients to ensure that the right part is used for the proper application.
Vibration isolators are naturally being exposed to heat and friction. Vibration generates heat. Depending on the machine itself, there may be extremely high temperatures. This should be a point of consideration when rubber parts are chosen. It is also important to distinguish between mechanical heat or ambient heat.
The elastomer material is, of course, of primary importance. But even the right material may be installed the wrong way, causing direct and unintended friction, which would generate intense heat and a breakdown. A full audit of machine function—including vibrations and friction calculations—should play a role in selecting and installing a rubber isolator.
The load is a physical calculation that should be included in the specs of any isolator you buy. Expertly manufactured isolating parts should be tested for their precise load capacity. RPM lists this directly on our product descriptions.
The load is related to frequency and number of mounts. All of these equations should be calculated to ensure that a part can isolate in the desired way.
Already mentioned about isolators, chemical issues are a serious point of concern. If you select a rubber part and expose it to high heat, you have a problem. If you choose an elastomer that doesn’t have the right chemical tolerances, you have a problem. Chemical issues pose a severe and immediate threat.
Oil, gas, and fuel are all common chemicals that rubber parts are exposed to in machines. If it isn’t the right part, this exposure can have catastrophic results.
Some other symptoms you may see that could relate to any number of the above issues include:
Early equipment failure could be a symptom that a very small but essential isolator wasn’t chosen well or installed to spec. The good news is, if the root cause of any failure is a vibration isolator, it’s an issue that can be remedied.
RPM Rubber Manufacturers provide industry-best isolators. These parts may seem simple, but they are meticulously designed and manufactured. Highly qualified engineers oversee all of our development. Buying the wrong part, buying inferior parts, or buying without full knowledge of what optimal function looks like will be a costly mistake. We support clients with off-the-shelf options or end-to-end custom rubber manufacturing.
We understand what’s at stake when you install a vibration isolator or any kind of isolating mount. Expensive machines and even lives are on the line when you operate at a high level. Whether your application is simple or complex, the experts at RPM are ready and able to help.
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