Vibration Noise is mechanical energy carried through a physical structure in wave form. Vibrations are generated by a wide array of natural and man-made sources. The behavior of vibrations are heavily influenced by the structures through which they travel and their material characteristics.
- Building sway
- Foot traffic
- HVAC equipment and ventilation
- Moving parts within instruments
- Pumps and other machinery
- Seismic movement
- Vehicle traffic
Vibrations affect research instruments in different ways depending on the type of sensitive components embedded within the instrument and how they are supported. For imaging tools, vibration noise can degrade image quality severely as vibrations will manifest themselves by blurring the image or creating jagged lines along the edges of features.Vibrations can cause significant issues for instruments measuring force, like nanoindenters and tensile testers, or instruments utilizing force in their sensing mechanism, like scanning probe microscopes or microbalances. Others are much more subtle and harder to discern. Often vibrations that are too small for humans to identify are too large for research instruments to handle. This is especially true when the instruments are operating at the nano-scale level. In these cases, researchers employ vibration measurement equipment to provide external verification of noise levels to understand the extent of the problem. Even when vibrations have been characterized within a room, it can still be challenging to identify the primary source(s) of vibration. Vibrations can travel through the ground for miles, making it harder for researchers to locate if the source of the vibration originates from their lab or subsequent areas beyond their lab.
Poor construction can often amplify and multiply the troublesome vibrations.