Fluidampr vs Elastomer (rubber)

stockdamper-frequencystamp2Fluidampr performance dampers are an upgrade to stock elastomer style harmonic balancers.  Stock elastomer harmonic balancers are designed to be cost effective under original engine conditions and are cheap for mass production.  Elastomer harmonic balancers use a tuned rubber strip bonded between a hub and outer interia ring.  When a predetermined peak vibration resonates the rubber strip, it throws the inertia ring to counteract the twisting/rebounding of the crankshaft.  Frequency range is determined by the durometer of the rubber, while the amount of throw is determined by its elasticity and inertia mass bonded to it.


A stock elastomer damper is limited to function within the narrow predetermined frequency range under stock conditions.  Performance parts that increase torque, such as air kits, exhaust, cams, ECM tuners may cause the damper to overwork itself.  As the damper works harder, heat generated becomes trapped longer in the rubber.  Since rubber is a poor dissipater of heat it will dry crack and/or heat bulge.  As the rubber loses durometer and elasticity its ability to protect the engine diminishes with the real possibility of catastrophic failure.  A common safety hazard found in street performance and racing occurs when the outer ring separating from the hub and launches inside the engine bay. 


Uncontrolled torsional vibration can also accelerate the wear of main bearings, timing components and even break the crankshaft.  A simple preventative maintenance tip is to routinely inspect an elastomer damper for cracked, bulging or missing rubber.  Some manufacturers even recommend this in their Owner’s Manual.


A more severe and unnoticeable shortcoming is when rotating assembly parts such as the pistons, rods, flywheel/flexplate or crankshaft are changed.  This will cause a change in the assembly’s resonate frequency and may negate the effectiveness of the damper during peak torsional vibration altogether.  Your first sign of an incorrect harmonic balancer could be a broken crank.



Why would you install a performance damper made from the same materials that cause an OEM elastomer harmonic balancer to fail in the first place?


Fluidampr is a performance viscous damper.  Viscous dampers remove vibration energy from the system by shearing a free rotating inertia ring back and forth through a highly viscous silicone fluid.  This converts the vibration energy into heat, which is easily dissipated through the sealed inertia ring housing.  A free rotating inertia ring adds an extra advantage of controlling torsional vibration across a broad frequency range and provides the necessary protection as engine modifications are made.


Superior engine protection, broad range performance and durability are why you will find a viscous damper as original equipment in high quality sports cars and diesel trucks, such as the V10 equipped Audi R8 & Lamborghini Gallardo, and the Ram 6.7L Cummins.  Plus, nearly all high power engines that we depend on to move our economy are protected with a viscous damper.




VW VR6 Chassis Dyno Results


Back to The Technology Behind Fluidampr