The Stick-Slip Solution
The importance of damper integration in dynamic sealing
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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