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Tailor-made vibration damping technology saving costs and increasing quality in mechanical engineering and testing applications

Country of Origin: Austria
Reference Number: TOAT20170907001
Publication Date: 7 September 2017


An Austrian SME developed a novel composite material (steel structure filled with special concrete) with excellent vibration damping properties. It is adjustable to individual client needs. For many new machining centers it significantly improved machining accuracy, enhanced tool life (up to 20% decrease in tool consumption), increased processing speeds (e.g. 20% reduced grinding times) and lowered noise emission. Partners for technical and research cooperations are sought.


In mechanical engineering applications (such as machine tools) vibrations have a detrimental impact on quality of products and tool life. Conventional solutions to reduce vibrations such as grey cast components are quite expensive and not individually adaptable for optimized vibration damping and client needs. 

The Austrian company developed a technology with excellent vibration damping characteristics to improve tool life, precision of mechanical operations, machine structure behaviour and sound emission levels significantly.
The system consists of an innovative composite material, comprising a welded steel structure with high structural stiffness filled with special concrete. In comparison to grey cast components the new technology saves costs, especially for small batches and prototypes of machine tools, clamping plates etc. It also allows the integration of additional functionalities and components, such as heating or cooling coils, conduits for energy supply, hydraulics, pneumatics, anchors for lifting and many more. Compared to other composite material technologies (steel structure filled with polymer concrete) the novel system again has significantly better vibration damping behaviour and heat stability and does not contain epoxy resins (has less environmental impact).

The special concrete can be adjusted to individual needs. Specific weight, damping characteristics, modulus of elasticity (E-modulus), compressive strength and other characteristics can be varied in a wide range to meet the particular client requirements. During engineering, the part's natural and resonance frequencies are determined and can be adjusted by design measures if they interfere with the overall structure or machine. Even possibly required vibration boundaries, such as vibration velocity and vibration amplitudes can be taken into account beforehand.

The following types of the system are available and can be adjusted according to specific client requirements:
- type 1: density up to 2,500 kg/m³; E-modulus up to 60,000 N/mm²;
- type 2: density up to 1,200 kg/m³; E-modulus up to 12,000 N/mm²;
- type 3: density 650 kg/m³; E-modulus approx. 5,000 N/mm²; especially suited for moving parts (slides, lathe slides, carriages etc.);
- type 4: density 220 kg/m³; E-modulus approx. 100 N/mm²; especially suited for moving parts (slides, travelling columns etc.);

Application areas:
- The technology is currently in use in machine beds for machine-tools and machining centers (examples are turning, milling, grinding, lathing machine tools of all sizes). It is further applicable in structure parts, base frames and the like.
- The system is also used in the testing industry, particularly in clamping plates, where it is engineered and designed for specific measurement tasks. Applications include testing of engines, transmissions, brakes, sound emissions etc.
- The innovative compound material together with expertise in engineering and simulation are especially advantageous for developing prototypes of new machines.

The SME is looking for:
1) technical cooperation partners: companies who want to optimize their new developments of machine tools, machining centers, industrial robots, industrial testing technology etc. by integrating the novel system for vibration damping.
2) research cooperation partners to enter into new R&D projects in the framework of funding programmes: R&D organisations with focus on thermal stability of machine tools and/or on the development/analysis of alternative filling compounds.


Advantages and Innovations

1) excellent vibration damping characteristics: for machining centers this results in improved machining accuracy, enhanced tool life, higher processing speeds and lower noise emission levels. For example, grinding times were reduced by 20% while maintaining the same grinding results. In another project it was possible to decrease the tool consumption by 20%.

2) high temperature stability and heat capacity protecting the machine structure from thermal influences better than common materials and resulting in higher process reliability

3) flexibility in design: particular customer requirements such as certain characteristic shapes, integrated conduits for energy, hydraulics etc. can be considered.

4) no expensive moulds needed; the filled steel structure (a stay-in-place formwork as such) makes it very cost efficient especially for small batches or even prototypes.

5) via modern simulation software certain requirements (such as maximum vibration velocities for testing plates) can be taken into account in the early design phase; best quality results are guaranteed.

Stage Of Development

Already on the market

Stage Of Development Comment

The system has proven its advantages in many different applications especially in Austria, Germany and Switzerland for more than 5 years and has been improved and adapted to suit even the most challenging applications.

Requested partner

Specific area of activity of the Partner:
1) Developers and/or manufacturers of machine tools, machining centers, industrial robots, industrial testing technology with the claim to quality leadership for applications in automotive, aviation, shipbuilding, power generation industry and many more.

2) R&D institutions, universities with a research focus on:
- thermal stability of machine tools (thermal simulations etc.)
- development and analysis of alternative filling compounds (geopolymers etc.)

Task to be performed by the Partner:
1) technical cooperation partners: companies who want to optimize their new developments (machine tools, industrial testing technologies etc.) by integrating the novel system for vibration damping. The Austrian SME offers FEM (finite element method) analysis, design, engineering, fabrication and assembling of the system according to client requirements together with expertise and extensive experience in machine tool design and engineering in all areas of machine tools.

2) research cooperation partners: R&D organisations with the above mentioned research areas to enter into new R&D projects in the framework of funding programmes.

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