I didn't go out of my way to buy it, but it just so happened I was placing an order at a science equipment type store (long story) and I had been thinking about getting some, and they had it. So I added a sheet to my cart, figuring, why not? Of course, as with a lot of the other odder materials we discuss here, you're better off going through McMaster-Carr for better selection, larger quantities, various sizes, etc.
Anyway, this Sorbothane stuff is VERY neat. Extremely tacky, soft, and dense. Just in handling it, I can see where it would damp drive type vibration extraordinarily well! I've seen it discussed most in the context of hard drives which have both a lotta of mass and a lotta rotation. But in my research on the material, I found many other intriguing uses for it in old usenet posts:
- to stabilize giant, homegrown telescope movements. Evidently the sorbothane does a dramatically better job at reducing vibration than generic rubber type compounds.
- for runners, to reduce heel shock. Evidently it is VERY durable, and will outlast many pairs of shoes (?) That's surprising given the intense wear implied in a pair of well-used running shoes..
- for freakishly high end audio enthusiasts, to stabilize turnables/speakers and the like. Not sure I even want to go there, but if they can "hear" the difference, more power to 'em.
- recoil pads for firearms. I assume so it's easier to fire off multiple rounds from the bell towe.. uh, firing range.. without compensating for as much recoil between shots.
- plus of course the hard drive isolation we do here with it.