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Dynamic characteristics and processing of fillers in polyurethane elastomers for vibration damping applications

Mackintosh, A.R. and Pethrick, R.A. and Banks, W.M. (2011) Dynamic characteristics and processing of fillers in polyurethane elastomers for vibration damping applications. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design and Applications, 225 (3). pp. 113-122. ISSN 1464-4207

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Polyurethane elastomers have the potential of being used to reduce vibrational noise in many engineering applications. The performance of the elastomer is directly related to matching the nature of the mechanical loss characteristics to the frequency and temperature dependence of the source of the vibration. Materials with a broad frequency response and good mechanical properties are desirable for situations were load bearing and isolation becomes an issue. Because automobile, and other related vehicles operate over a broad temperature range, it is desirable for the damping characteristics of the elastomer to ideally be independent of temperature and frequency. In practice, this is not possible and the creation of materials with a broad spectrum response is desirable. In this paper, the effects of various fillers on the breadth and temperature dependence of the vibration damping characteristics of a filled and crosslinked polyurethane elastomer are explored. The fillers studied are wollastonite, barium sulphate and talc. These materials have different shapes, sizes and surface chemistry and undergo different types of interaction with the matrix. The vibration damping characteristics were further varied by the use of a crosslinking agent. Data presented on the rheological characteristics indicate the strength of the filler-polyol interactions. Dielectric relaxation and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis demonstrate the way in which changes in the type of filler, concentration and amount of crosslinker lead to changes in the location and breadth of the energy dissipation process in these elastomers. The vibration damping characteristics of a selected material are presented to demonstrate the potential of these materials.