In this whitepaper, we take a closer look at the problem of stick-slip and how dampers can combat or otherwise minimize it. It must be noted that, academically, there exists very little consensus as to the underlying principles of stick-slip – so, this paper will take a practical perspective, addressing how engineers can use dampers to reduce resultant noise and vibration; once again mastering the force of friction.
Friction is a universally important and everpresent force. It makes possible the sound you hear from stringed instruments like the violin. It makes music from the interplay of your finger and a wine glass. It enables communication for insects like grasshoppers, and is the fundamental force active in earthquakes. And, unfortunately for mechanical applications, it can create unnecessary vibration and noise.
Tribology is the art of combating this force of friction; smoothing the interface between mechanical parts and enabling ease of movement. Typically, it’s hugely successful in this task – but friction has one more trick up its sleeve. The stick-slip phenomenon: the spontaneous stopstart jerking that can take hold of even the most well-lubricated sealing system. There is, however, a solution to this phenomenon: integrating dampers into machinery to counter the stick-slip effect.
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