The present invention concerns a vibration damper arrangement
for supporting vibration sensitive items, particularly electromechanical items as
e.g. hard disks, floppy disk drives, CD-ROM drives and the like in relation to a
base, including springs in the form of fixed bent wire pieces, each built up of
a number of twisted strands, where each bent wire piece is approximately in one
It is known to dampen vibrations, e.g. by rotating machines
there is often inserted a damper between the machine itself and the floor surface
or the base on which the machine is mounted in order to prevent that vibrations
are propagated to the surroundings. There are many examples of this type of vibration
dampening which dampen the vibrations satisfactorily. Dampening of vibrations arising
as a result of the operation of a machine, e.g. by rotating rollers, reciprocating
pistons or the like, the vibrations being in a frequency range where the dampening
compared with the very large mass of the machine in itself is relatively siniple,
as numerous different materials and embodiments may be used. For this kind of vibration
dampening is used specially reinforced rubber pads, strong springs and the like.
In the case of vibrations, including particularly transmission
of vibrations from one item to another, where one item is very light at the same
time as the vibrations are in a frequency range from 0 - 200 Hz, particularly from
0 - 100 Hz, there are a number of problems which have not been solved in a satisfactory
way. In that the item to be isolated from vibrations is very light, traditional
springs and rubber systems cannot be used, as these, due to the dead weight of the
vibration sensitive item, either causes the spring to appear too stiff or result
in too great an amplitude in the dampening process. Furthermore, rubber and plastic
systems have the drawbacks that the spring characteristic changes as a function
of the temperature, i.e. when it is very cold, the rubber becomes very hard, whereby
the vibration damper arrangement provides very little dampening at low frequencies.
At the same time, rubber may decompose as a result of sunshine, oil, grease etc.
whereby the service life for a rubber damper is limited. Traditional helical springs
are often too rigid and have limited lifetime, as the material will suffer fatigue
failure after using it a short time. A typical car spring should be changed after
about 200,000 km as there is increased probability of material failure above this
From document EP 764 794 is known a vibration damper which
is constructed with a base plate connected via four wire pieces to a top plate.
By mounting the base plate on a base or a frame and the top plate to the element
to be isolated from vibrations, according to the invention it should be possible
to isolate the transmission of vibrations from the construction to the vibration
sensitive item in three planes arranged perpendicularly to each other.
A corresponding system is indicated in patent publication
NL 9101012, where curved wire pieces are connected from a base plate to a top plate.
The intention is that the base plate is to be mounted on a frame or a construction,
and that the top plate is to be connected to the vibration sensitive item, whereby
the curved wire pieces are to isolate the vibration sensitive item from vibrations
created in the frame or the base.
Common to these systems is that the curved wire pieces
are mounted in one plane perpendicularly to the vibrator, i.e. the base.
In the following, the dampening elements will be described
with reference to an X-Y-Z co-ordinate system, where the XY, XZ and YZ planes form
three mutually perpendicular planes.
If a damper as illustrated in EP 764 794 is placed in a
three-dimensional co-ordinate system so that the base plate is disposed in the XZ
plane and the springs are placed in a plane perpendicularly to the XZ plane, e.g.
in the YZ plane, the damper will function in that movements in the Y direction are
absorbed by bending of the curved wire pieces, movements in the Z plane will be
absorbed as rolling, and actions in the X direction will be absorbed by torsion
in the curved wire pieces. An arbitrary vibration pattern will therefore be a combination
of the above mentioned patterns of movement, whereby the curved wire pieces will
interact with their respective spring constants for performing the desired dampening.
Physically it is so that the spring constant, which is determining how a spring
will react to an action, is different depending on whether the curved wire pieces
are actuated by compression, rolling or torsion. The damper according to EP 764
794 and other comparable systems will therefore dampen differently, depending on
the direction of the resultant of the vibrations that the damper is installed to
isolate from. Where the item desired to be isolated from vibration influence is
fixed, i.e. not movable, it may be possible to compensate for this difference in
degree of dampening, as the resultant of the action has constant direction by different
The systems known from EP 764 794 and NL 9101012 may generally
be denoted vibration dampers with single springs. Laboratory tests show that the
so-called single spring systems only have effect at relatively high frequencies,
namely around 180 Hz. Up to about 180 Hz, these systems amplifies the vibrations
transmitted from the base to the vibration sensitive item. For frequencies above
180 Hz, the damper is activated and starts to reduce the influence of vibrations
transmitted to the vibration sensitive item.
Electronic equipment finds still wider application and
becomes a more and more integrated part of daily life. To a still greater extent,
different kinds of electronics are fitted in vehicles, such as boats, ships, trains,
buses, lorries, normal cars, etc., and the electronic items are therefore exposed
to jolts and other non-uniform actions. Particularly with regard to jolts, electronic
items or apparatuses in which there are also mechanical components are particularly
exposed. This is particularly the case with CD players, CD-ROM players, hard disks
and similar apparatuses, which besides very sensitive electronics also consist of
very sensitive mechanics. In order that these installations may also operate optimally,
it is desirable to dampen the vibration transmission from the vehicle/ship/train/bus/car
itself and to the electro-mechanical component.
Particularly concerning installation of electronic equipment,
as e.g. hard disks, CD-ROM drives, or other sensitive equipment in ships, trains,
buses, vehicles, airplanes and other locations, where vibrations below 180 Hz are
generated, i.e. at relatively low frequencies, the prior art single spring systems
are thus unsuitable as they have a negative effect on the total vibration transmission
to vibration sensitive items.
There is therefore a need for providing a vibration damper
arrangement suited for isolating light vibration sensitive elements from a vibration
generating base at relatively low frequencies.
It is therefore the purpose of the present invention to
provide a vibration damper arrangement which is structurally simple and independent
of temperature, which dampens the vibrations uniformly in three mutually perpendicular
planes and which may dampen the transmission of vibrations from base to items with
low dead weight at relatively low frequencies.
According to the present invention, this purpose is achieved
with a vibration damper arrangement of the above mentioned type, which is peculiar
in that the vibration damper arrangement consists of two springs arranged in two
mutually perpendicular planes, respectively, of which one plane is parallel to the
base, where a first spring is fastened to the base and a second spring is fastened
to the vibration sensitive item, and that the two springs are interconnected.
With a structure according to the invention it is achieved
that the spring characteristic, i.e. the spring constant in all three planes, is
largely the same. This is achieved by loads and actions of the vibration damper
arrangement preferably being absorbed in the form of torsion or by rolling in the
curved wire pieces.
Considering a curved/bent wire piece in an XYZ co-ordinate
system, loaded with the force P, where radius of the wire piece is R, the following
theoretical relations between the force P, the moments M and the torque T are obtained:
Curved bent spring
By inserting the expressions found above for the moments
in the three planes in the work equation, the following relation for the deflection
u is found:
Only contribution from one force direction is considered
at a time.
Curved spring subjected to bending action:
Spring force defined as
K1 is the spring stiffness
x is deflection
E = 2,1- 105 N/mm2
G = 0,8- 105 N/mm2
Ip = It = 2I
The spring stiffness of a curved spring is hence
From the mathematical elaboration above, it thus appears
that the spring constant is K when a curved wire piece is subjected to a compression
force; where the curved wire piece is subjected to rolling, the spring force is
and where a curved wire piece becomes curved in a plane perpendicular to the plane
of the curved spring, i.e. where the wire piece is subjected to torsion, the spring
force is approximately
By considering again the prior art systems with a single
spring, where it is preferably the spring force K which is used for dampening the
vibrations, as the dampening occurs by composing the curved wire piece, an explanation
of the lack of effect of the systems at frequencies below 180 Hz may be explained
by a substantially greater action of force of the spring is to be present before
a spring with the spring constant K becomes affected compared with a spring with
a spring constant of
Since the force basically has been defined as mass x acceleration (F=m·a),
considering here small masses, it is thus the acceleration, i.e. the amplitude of
the vibrations transmitted from the vibrating item to the vibration sensitive item,
which is to have a certain magnitude in order for mass x acceleration to reach a
size for the spring to appear in its active range.
According to the invention, two springs are arranged in
plane perpendicularly to each other, of which one plane is parallel with the base.
Hereby is achieved that where forces occur due to vibrations in a direction where
a spring is to be compressed and thus has the spring constant K, these forces are
absorbed as torsion
or by rolling
in the spring arranged perpendicularly thereto, as the system will absorb loads/influences
in the softest section. Besides being softer than a corresponding single spring
system, the system is also more uniform as a spring with a spring constant of 1
K is never to be activated, but a spring with a spring constant of
at most is activated. The difference between the required force in the three planes
thus becomes the difference between
whereas the difference in the single-spring systems are from a spring constant
in one plane of 1 K to a spring constant in another plane of
The vibration damper arrangement according to the invention
thus has a substantially more uniform spring characteristic in all three planes
than the prior art systems.
Wires consist of a number of strands that are intertwined
into a finished wire. Besides, each single strand may consist of a number of single
threads that in turn may be twined or twisted together into a fine strand.
By rolling, but particularly by torsional action of a curved
wire piece spring, the force is absorbed by friction between the individual twisted
strands. This is an essential factor for the extremely long service life of this
type of spring system. By experiments with a spring system according to the invention
in a preferred embodiment as described below and as illustrated in Figs. 3 - 7,
the experiment was terminated after a test cycle corresponding to more than 10 years
of use, without the system having changed spring characteristics or having shown
signs of material failure.
In a preferred embodiment, the strands are made of acid
proof stainless steel, but also other materials may be used for making the curved
pieces of wire, including galvanised steel, zinced steel, pure steel, copper, tungsten,
titanium, modified plastic, glass fibre, carbon fibre, fibre reinforced resin materials,
or different combinations of suitable materials. When selecting material, besides
the resulting spring characteristic, the durability of the materials when subjected
to bending and friction is also to be taken into consideration as the different
materials have different bending and moment characteristics.
In a further, preferred embodiment, the two mutually perpendicularly
arranged springs are connected in a fixed connecting point. By fixing the connecting
point, e.g. by fastening two fishplates about the curved wire pieces, it is achieved
that the forces result ing from the vibrations are transmitted as pure resultants
to the activated spring. By this is meant that in the transition zone from one spring
in one plane to another spring in a plane perpendicular thereto, partial rolling
of the spring before the force is absorbed as torsion does not occur, but that the
fixed connection between the two springs ensures that there are pure actions, i.e.
either only torsion or only rolling in the spring.
In a further preferred embodiment, the vibration damper
arrangement includes eight springs, where the springs are arranged in pairs in one
plane and approximately perpendicularly to each other, and that the four spring
pairs are arranged for supporting a vibration sensitive item in relation to a base.
Furthermore, the spring pairs may be arranged in such a way that the curved wire
pieces are lying in an approximately straight plane, which is arranged in parallel
with the plane of the base.
This system is very favourable as there is achieved a very
uniform spring characteristic for the entire system. Where a difference in the spring
is attained in a system with two curved wire pieces arranged mutually perpendicularly,
with a system as described above is achieved a system with spring constants from
- thus a very homogenous vibration damper arrangement.
In order to add further stability to the vibration damper
arrangement, the four spring pairs may be mutually connected in one plane by means
of a reinforcing element, which is fastened in the assembly points, where the two
curved wire pieces that constitute a spring pair, are connected. By arranging a
stiff reinforcing element in the connection point of the spring is achieved that
the influence from the vibrations becomes evenly distributed among the individual
curved wire pieces. Hereby, the spring characteristic of each individual curved
wire piece is better utilised, why the structure may be made overall smaller and
thereby more space-saving.
In a preferred embodiment, the bent wire pieces form approximately
a semi-circle, or alternatively a full circle, as well as it is also possible to
arrange two semi-circular wire pieces to the fastening at the base, the vibration
sensitive element or the stiff connecting point arranged between the two springs,
respectively, in such a way that two semi-circular, curved wire pieces will form
a full circle. In the embodiment where plural spring pairs are arranged side by
side, the springs may be formed by curved wire being shaped as a figure eight or
in a spring version with an arbitrary number of windings so that a piece of wire
forms more curves and thereby more springs. In order to achieve optimal dampening
it is, however, important that each curve piece, where it is in contact with the
base, another curve piece, or the vibration sensitive item, respectively, is rigidly
connected, as the actions due to the vibrations may thereby be transmitted to the
curved wire piece as rolling or torsion, respectively, as described above.
For dampening different items with different dead weight
as well as by different frequencies, it may be necessary to change the characteristics
of the vibration damper arrangement. This can be done by varying the choice of material
for the strands, the dimension of the strands, the number of threads in each strand,
the kind of surface treatment applied to the strands, and the length and degree
of twisting of the strands. By degree of twisting is understood the firmness with
which the individual threads in the strand have been twisted about each other. Besides,
the wire dimension and the number of strands together with the degree of twisting
may be parameters that may be varied for adapting the individual curved wire pieces
to the dampening task for which the vibration damper arrangement is to be used.
Where the curved wire pieces are exposed to torsion as
described above, the force action from the vibrations is absorbed in the curved
wire pieces as friction between the individual strands. When choosing material,
particular consideration is to be taken to the frictional properties of the material.
Furthermore, it has appeared advantageous to coat the individual strands with a
friction-reducing material. Particularly Teflon has appeared to be a favourable
coating material. Besides providing a very long service life for each curved wire
piece, the curved wire piece is also given a more uniform internal friction, resulting
in a very uniform spring constant over time.
As mentioned in the introduction, dampening systems are
to have a certain minimum load before the springs forming part of the dampening
system come into their active dampening range. By dampening vibrations at relatively
low frequencies, i.e. below 200 Hz, and where the item to be isolated from vibration
is a very light item, as e.g. a hard disk, the vibration dampener may advantageously
be preloaded. This means that the system is made with a dead weight in addition
to the dead weight of the disk or the CD-ROM drive, so that it is ensured that the
curved wire pieces constituting the springs in the system are brought into their
The invention will now be explained in more detail with
reference to the attached drawings and diagrams, where:
- Fig. 1
- illustrates schematically a vibration damper arrangement of prior art,
- Fig. 2
- shows in principle a dampening system according to the invention,
- Fig. 3a
- shows a dampening curve of a single spring system,
- Fig. 3b
- shows a single spring system,
- Fig. 4a
- illustrates a dampening curve for a double spring system according to the invention,
- Fig. 4b
- illustrates a double spring system,
- Fig. 5a
- illustrates the dampening curve for a double spring system according to the
- Fig. 5b
- illustrates an alternative double spring system,
- Fig. 6a
- also illustrates a dampening curve for a double spring system according to the
- Fig. 6b
- illustrates a double spring dampening system with hard disk fitted.
The principle in a known single spring system is illustrated
in Fig. 1 corresponding to the test set-ups, where the dampening curve is indicated
in Fig. 3a, and the test set-up associated therewith is illustrated in Fig. 3b.
The vibration sensitive item 1 is mounted so that the curved
wire pieces 2, in this case two pieces, are disposed between the vibration sensitive
item 1 and the base 3. It is pre-supposed that vibrations are supplied to the system
via the base 3 which is dampened in the spring system 2, so that the vibration sensitive
item 1 is not exposed to significant vibrations.
By actions in X direction, rolling of the spring will occur.
By action in Z direction, out of or into the plane of the paper according to the
schematic drawing, the action of force with be absorbed in the springs via bending
and thereby torsion of the wire. Torsion is absorbed by friction between individual
strands of which the wire is made up.
By vibrating actions with a force resultant in Y direction,
the vibration force will be absorbed in the curve wire piece as compression of the
Above, it is derived mathematically that the spring constant
and thereby the ability of the spring to dampen vibrations in different directions,
varies according to how the spring is influenced. Thus it has been found that by
action in X direction, the spring constant was about
by action in Z direction where the forces are absorbed as torsion, the spring force
and by actions in Y direction there was a full spring constant. This implies that
the vibration damper arrangement as illustrated in Fig. 1 will not have the same
dampening characteristic in all three planes, but the characteristic will vary in
relation to the relative spring constants. A test set-up as illustrated in Fig.
3 was used for examining the dampening characteristic of a single spring system.
The test set-up is constructed by a base plate 3 being permanently mounted on a
vibratory table 4. The vibration sensitive item 1 is provided in the test set-up
in the shape of a weight corresponding to the weight of a typical hard disk, namely
about 100 g. A thin metal sheet 5 has been bonded to the vibration sensitive element.
Between the base plate 3 and the thin sheet 5 there is arranged a curved wire spring
2. Furthermore, the vibrating table 4 has been fitted with a vibration sensor in
the form of an accelerometer (not shown) as well as the top sheet 5 has been fitted
with an accelerometer 6. By vibrating the vibrating table at different frequencies,
measurements were performed on the vibrations of the vibrating table 4 and of the
thin sheet 5 via the meter 6. The resulting curves are illustrated in Fig. 3a.
Both X and Y axes are presented as logarithmic axes. The
X-axis indicates the frequency with which the vibrating table was oscillated, and
the Y-axis indicate the resulting amplitude measured on the thin sheet in the sensor
6. The curve 7 indicates the amplitude measured on the thin sheet 5, i.e. the oscillations
that are transmitted to the vibration sensitive item 7. The lowermost curve 8 illustrates
the amplitude of the vibrations applied to the vibrating table to be transmitted
via the vibration damper arrangement to the vibration sensitive item 1. As it appears
from the Figure, the vibrations in the vibrating table, illustrated by the curve
8, result in that larger amplitudes and thereby more violent oscillations are transmitted
to the vibration sensitive item than if the item had been mounted directly on the
vibrating table. Only at frequencies above about 180 Hz, dampening in the springs
occur, whereby the amplitude in the vibration sensitive item and thereby the vibratory
load to which it is exposed becomes less than the vibratory load applied in the
Fig. 2 illustrates the principle in a vibration damper
arrangement according to the invention. The vibration sensitive item 1 is connected
to a base 3 via two springs 2a and 2b in the form of curved wire piece. The springs
2a and 2b are identical but mounted in mutually perpendicular planes, so that the
spring 2b is mounted in a plane in parallel with the plane of the base. The individual
curved wire pieces will form an approximately single plane. When the vibration damper
arrangement is influenced with loads in the X direction, the load will be absorbed
as rolling in the spring 2a as compression of the spring 2a will not occur. This
is due to, as described above, that the spring constant at the compressing of a
spring of this type is 1K, whereas the spring constant by rolling is only
Therefore, the system will absorb actions in X direction with the smallest spring
force, i.e. with rolling in spring 2a. By action in Y direction, spring 2b will
absorb the load as bending and thereby by torsion, the force being absorbed as internal
friction between the strands in the wire. In the same way as with actions in X direction,
this is due to the fact that the spring constant by torsion is about
where it is 1K when compressing spring 2a. In the same way, forces in Z direction
will be absorbed as bending and thereby torsion in spring 2a. As it appears from
the schematic drawing, there will be a considerably more uniform dampening of vibrations
in three dimensions in a set-up according to the invention compared with prior art.
In Fig. 4a is illustrated the dampening process of a set-up
as illustrated in 4b, corresponding to the invention, as the curve 10 shows the
amplitude measured on the vibration sensitive object, in this case a hard disk as
shown by 1 and where curve 11 shows the amplitude of the base in the shape of the
vibrating table 3. From the curve appears that the vibration sensitive item is subjected
to vibrations at the most corresponding to an insignificant part over what the vibrating
table supplies to the system. Already at about 55-60 Hz, the system begins actively
to dampen the vibrations transmitted from the base to the vibration sensitive item
1. In the test set-up illustrated in Fig. 4b, the vibration sensitive item is a
hard disk 1 on which is fitted an accelerometer 6 for detecting the vibrations transmitted
to the vibration sensitive item 1. The vibrating table 3 induces vibrations which
are detected by a not shown meter, which propagate through the springs 2a and 2b
to the vibration sensitive items. Due to the arrangement of the spring, an active
dampening is effected even about 60 Hz.
Besides the two curved wire pieces 2a and 2b arranged in
mutually perpendicular planes, the vibration damper arrangement has further three
correspondingly curve wire pieces arranged in pairs. Each pair of curved wire pieces
are connected with each other via a fixed connecting element 12. Each of the four
curved wire pieces arranged in pairs are connected via a reinforcing element 13,
which is fastened to the in pairs curved wire pieces in their fixed connecting point
The fixed connecting points 12 serve to retain the curved
wire pieces in planes that are approximately perpendicular to each other. By fixing
the curved wire pieces in relation to each other it is achieved that the vibration
actions are absorbed in the springs as pure resultants, i.e. either by rolling or
torsion. Hereby is ensured that the system really attains the theoretical degree
of dampening to which it is designed.
The reinforcing element 13 serves to distribute uniformly
the actions from the vibrations from the base to the springs in the vibration damper
arrangement. When the vibration damper arrangement is fitted on a vibratory base,
e.g: in a train, in a bus, in a car or aboard a ship or an airplane, it is not probable
that the vibrations will be transmitted quite uniformly to all spring forming part
of the vibration damper arrangement. By thus installing a reinforcing plate 13,
these differences are equalised to a certain degree so that individual springs in
the system are not loaded substantially more than other springs.
Most electronic items are sensitive to vibrations, particularly
electronic items, where a mechanical movement occurs, such as in hard disks or CD-ROM
drives. Therefore, this system is particularly suited for dampening vibrations for
these light items as the system may dampen vibrations at low frequencies in a uniform
way, even for relatively light items such as hard disks and CD-ROM players.
As the dampening system is designed to dampen vibrations
at low frequencies for very light electronic items as described above, the dampening
system may be influenced unfavourably by external forces. By this is particularly
included the wires and cables traditionally to be connected to electronic components
which are to be fitted in the spring damper. By the laboratory tests described above,
very flexible connecting cables of the type "Superflex" were used, where each cable
consists of hundreds of ultra thin strands. Besides being very flexible, the structure
of the single cable provides that they have very long service life why no fatigue
failure occurs due the few vibrations transmitted to the electronic item. Furthermore,
the tests showed that the ultra flexible wires did not have any influence on the
dampening characteristics of the vibration sensitive item.
The springs consist of curved wire pieces. Each spring
may consist of a wire piece curved to a closed circle and fastened in a connection
piece as shown above. Besides, a curved wire piece may form a semi-circle, why it
is connected with fixed connection at both end sections of the wire. The fixed connection
may be in the shape of two fishplates that are fastened around the curved wire piece,
whereby the fishplates are clamped together around the wire in order to secure it.
Alternatively, a hole of suitable size may be bored in the assembling plate, after
which the end of the wire piece is placed in the hole and a suitable adhesive is
supplied for securing the wire piece in the pre-bored hole.