Heavy-duty tasks within the modern workplace require equally heavy-duty solutions. Of course, health and safety are always two important concerns. Many workers will naturally refer to common methods such as eyewear, protection from loud noises, the reduction of dust particles and the use of hard hats. It is just as important to realise that the effects of excessive vibrations can cause issues over time. Additionally, some larger machines will be much more difficult to handle if these vibrations are not addressed. Smiths Hire fully appreciates that only the most modern solutions will do. Let’s take a look at what some major brand names offer as well as how vibration damping materials can come in “handy”.
A Quick Look at the Aspects and Benefits of Vibration Absorbing Material
In truth, vibration damping materials can actually be made of several different substances. Most are classified by what are known as visco-elastic components. To put this another way, this material absorbs and isolates vibrations that would otherwise travel up from the device and be felt by the user. The important takeaway point is that these substances are used in conjunction with handles that are specifically designed to enhance their effect.
Why Choose Anti Vibration Handlebar Grips?
The main principle behind any type of anti-vibration grip or handlebar involves balance. The handles themselves are designed to work together with materials such as foam padding or rubber suspensions at their base. These enable the handlebars to absorb shock waves while still allowing the user to maintain control. The end result is that instances of hand and arm vibration (HAV) are dramatically reduced. To fully appreciate this concept, let’s take a look at one product that is readily available through Smiths Hire.
One of the most common machines that can cause a great deal of physical vibrations is the modern road breaker. Demolishing concrete, asphalt and other durable materials takes a great deal of power, so these machines are built with sheer physical force in mind. The Hilti TE3000 is a perfect example of this type of raw energy in motion. Some of its impressive characteristics include:
- A two-stroke engine alongside an optional 110-volt mains power supply.
- A total downward impact energy of 68 joules.
- The ability to break up to six tonnes of concrete every hour.
- A weight of only 30 kilogrammes.
While these statistics alone are respectable, older models would have been associated with excessive amounts of vibration. Not only can vibrations cause medical issues over time, but they lead to increased fatigue while the machine will naturally be more difficult to control. Such concerns have been dramatically reduced thanks to the anti vibration handlebar grips that the Hilti TE3000 employs. In fact, vibrations have now been limited to under seven metres per second squared; an impressive feat of modern technology.
The Science Behind the Absorption of Vibrations
We should first point out that this can be a very complicated subject. For the sake of this article, we will break the topic down into its basic components to see how they can be applied within the construction sector.
It is a good idea to mention that the effects of HAV are addressed by using what is known as “passive vibration isolation”. To put this another way, passive techniques involving pads, springs and dampeners will reduce vibrations. This is in contrast to active vibration isolation which is associated with electronic sensors and automatic control systems.
Passive vibration elements are sometimes referred to as “shock mounts”, as they effectively reduce the physical shocks that the user would otherwise experience. The way that these shock mounts work is by determining the natural frequency of the machine (such as the Hilti TE3000 mentioned above). Damping materials basicallydissipate energy and reduce the amount of vibrations. This method is always very useful within the construction sector, as workers will generally be required to use heavy-duty tools for extended periods of time. So, taking their comfort and safety into account are always very real concerns.
Keeping the Needs of the Worker in Mind at All Times
Many are unaware that vibration absorbing material (when used within machinery) now represents a form of PPE (personal protective equipment). Not only will such control measures help to prevent accidents, but vibration control devices can also extend the lifespan of the machinery itself. This is just as true whether referring to pneumatic breakers, petrol breakers, electrically powered units or their hydraulic counterparts. The fact of the matter is that limiting the effects of hand and arm vibration is in everyone’s best interest. If you would like to learn more about the range of vibration control products offered by Smiths Hire, please feel free to contact us directly.