Resilience & Energy Control
Resilience is the property of absorbing energy by deformation and returning a proportion of it on rebound. Depending upon the rubber type and compound, some of the energy will be converted into heat within the material. A high resilience material returns almost all the energy – for example a superball – while a low resilience material has a low rebound, “dead” feel, such as a squash ball or high performance tyre.
Rubbers have always been used for energy control purposes. These range from the simple – buffers, elastic bands and sports equipment – to the complex, such as car suspension systems or keyswitches, where rubber provides that delicate, precise “feel”.
Rubber is also valued for its vibration control. It is extensively used in flexible couplings where rubber “spiders” allow misalignment, reduce jamming and have the resilience to damp out vibration.
All rubber types can be used for energy control and can be compounded to vary their fundamental resilience to the exact requirements of the designer. Fine tuning of the characteristics can be achieved by small changes to the shape of the moulding.
Examples of Components
Keypads which have to be designed and moulded to the closest tolerances in order to achieve precise force/travel characteristics over millions of operations.