Advanced metal rubber, new damping material for next gen uses
21 Nov '17
Russian scientists have come up with what they say is a unique metal rubber damping material with an array of useful properties. Using the material is expected to add to new dampers a level of reliability unrivaled across the international competition.
The new metal rubber (MR) that comes from Samara University labs in Russia’s Lower Volga region is said to beat conventional elastomers in its high damping characteristics and resistance to a broad range of adverse/aggressive conditions such as corrosion, extreme temperatures, high vacuum, moisture, radiation, etc. It’s special technology of netting and pressing spiral metal threads of different diameters that is believed to impart to the MR material all these properties, already bringing about advanced, yet easy-to-make bootlace vibroinsulators for use in extreme vibration and other heavy-duty environments.
What started out last year as a vibroinsulator-focused R&D effort for Russia’s newest high-speed diesel engine project has led to research advancements for a variety of other potential applications that necessitate acoustic and vibration protection and ensuing working comfort, such as mechanical engineering, automotive, electronics, or energy.
At the core of this project is a considerably improved method of mass producing reliable and durable thin-walled elastoporous elements of metal rubber, an invention that got a U.S. patent earlier this year.
The key competitive advantages for the technology include technological and manufacturing simplicity, resistance to a wide variety of hostile/aggressive conditions, small size and low weight with high static strength, and low manufacturing costs in mass production.
This is a project to watch, as the new material could meet a good deal of demand across heavy-duty applications, such as automotive, electronics and energy, and also broader mechanical engineering, transport, metallurgy, and others.
How it all began
The use of acoustic and vibration protection can both extend the service life of equipment and make its use more comfortable.
In July 2016, Sinara-Transport Machines, a Russian mechanical engineering holding, contracted Samara University scientists for the development of vibroinsulators for the newest Russian high-speed diesel engines.
The effort resulted in the emergence of metal rubber as the key competitive ingredient for new vibroinsulators which were initially meant for use in diesel locomotives. Further research in partnership with Russia’s Energia Corp., a leading global manufacturer of ballistic missile, spacecraft and space station components, and the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems also led to more advanced applications at the International Space Station (ISS).