# 7 Common Uses of Damping Plates

Damping plates are used in a variety of industries and machinery applications. Choosing the right type of damping plate for your compressor and other high-powered machinery needs is the key to maintaining high functioning and reliable operations. While damping plates have a wide variety of use cases, their role is similar in nature.

## What is damping?

In physics, damping can be described as the restrain of vibratory machine, including mechanical oscillations, alternating electric currents, and even noise, through the dissipation of energy.

In reality, we understand that a spring will not oscillate forever. Frictional forces work to diminish an oscillation’s amplitude until the system is eventually at rest.

An oscillation is damped when the mechanical energy and amplitude of a system gradually reach zero resulting from a dissipative forces (internal forces, friction, air resistance). During this process the frequency of amplitude of a mechanical or industrial device is reduced, while period increases.

For example, unless a child continues to pump while swinging on a swing, its motion, or oscillation, will die down due to damping and damping plates.

## Types of Damping Plates

Critical damping plates are used to dampen systems so that they will not vibrate. In addition to preventing vibration, critical damping allows an object to return to its original state, or rest position, in the shortest period of time. An example of critical damping, are shock absorbers in industrial machinery and automobiles.

Critical damping occurs when the damping coefficient is equal to the oscillator’s undamped resonant frequency. This is the fastest way for an oscillator to reach zero amplitude. Underdamping, or less damping, provides a quicker path to the zero position, but the system will oscillate around it. Overdamping, on the other hand, has a slower approach.

## Damping: Machine Tools

Damping within industrial and machine-like tools basically derives from two sources, interfacial slip and material damping. Material damping refers to the inherent damping of materials in which a machine is constructed. The overall magnitude of this function is considered to be small compared to the total damping of machine tools. Machine tools’ material-damping accounts for 10% of total damping processes.

Interfacial damping is the result of the contacting of surfaces at sliding and bolted joints. Interfacial damping accounts for 90% of total damping needs. Between these two joint types, sliding joints are the biggest contributor to damping. In general, joints that have been welded account for a small portion of damping. This is sometimes neglected when considering machinery for  joint damping.

## Damping Uses

There are a number of damping plates, pads, and equipment available on the market today for a variety of industrial machineries and applications. Selecting the right damping plate for your device and use case is vital to the successful and smooth running of your machinery. In order to make the right choice, one needs to understand these various damping applications and their importance.

## 1. Coulomb Damping

There are many different types of mechanical damping plates. Coulomb damping, also known as friction damping plates, arise from electrostatic attractions between two sliding surfaces. This friction that is generated through the relative motion of two sliding plates that have been pressed together are a source of energy dissipated. This dissipation captured from a vibrating system involves converting kinetic energy, or the mechanical energy of motion, into heat. This damping mechanism is a common occurrence in heavy machinery.

## 2. Viscous Damping

Viscous damping, another type of mechanical damping, is commonly used in a variety of engineering systems, including shock absorbers and instruments. This type of damping is caused by energy losses within the liquid lubrication used between moving parts. This force is proportional to the damping devices’ relative velocity between the two ends, across the damper. It always opposes the general motion, so the dampening force is a continuous linear function of velocity. Because viscous plates can be analysed using the simplest mathematical treatments, analysis often approximate much more complex dampening methods into the viscous type.

## 3. Velocity-Squared Damping

The vibrating body’s motion can also be checked by its friction with the liquid or gas in which it moves. This fluid’s dampening force in this particular case is directly proportional to a quantity that is slightly less than square of the body’s velocity.

## 4. Hysteresis Damping

Other than external types of dampening plates, a moving structure holds energy loss within itself. This is known as hysteresis, or structural damping. Within this type of dampening use case, some of the energy that is involved within the restoration and repetitive internal deformation of the crystal lattice in random kinetic energy molecules of fluid and solids

## 5. Resonant Electric Circuits Damping

Resonant electric circuits, another type of damping plate, involves the surging of current back and forth. A television or radio receiver works to dampen vibrations through electric resistance. This signal is what supplies the receiver with synchronous energy to maintain overall resonance.

## 6. Radiation Damping

Radiation damping plates involve the moving charges of vibration energy. In this manner, electrons are converted into electromagnetic energy and emitted through the form of visible, or infrared light and radio waves.

## 7. Magnetic Damping

Magnetic damping plates utilize the energy of motion for the converting of heat by means of electric eddy currents. The aluminium or coil plate that is attached to the oscillating object induces these currents. These plates are often situated to pass between the poles of a magnet.

In an industrial type of set up, having a type of vibration management system, or damping plates, is an essential component that plays a vital role in a machine’s smooth functioning. Machines that are well designed and effectively incorporate the appropriate type of damping plate per use are considered of higher reliability and consistency. On the other hand, machines that have not been built with a vibration damping system could ultimately result in a loss of intended life and potential mechanical issues later down the road. Not addressing or neglecting damping needs can often be catastrophic to a machine’s use.