Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. David W. Herrin


Transmissibility is the most common metric used for isolator characterization. However, engineers are becoming increasingly concerned about energy transmission through an isolator at high frequencies and how the compliance of the machine and foundation factor into the performance. In this study, the transfer matrix approach for isolator characterization is first reviewed. Two methods are detailed for determining the transfer matrix of an isolator using finite element simulation. This is accomplished by determining either the mobility or impedance matrix for the isolator and then converting to a transfer matrix. One of the more useful metrics to characterize the high frequency performance of an isolator is insertion loss. Insertion loss is defined as the difference in transmitted vibration in decibels between the unisolated and isolated cases. Insertion loss takes into account the compliance on the source and receiver sides. Accordingly, it has some advantages over transmissibility which is a function of the damping and mounted resonant frequency. A static analysis is to preload the isolator so that stress stiffening is accounted for. This is followed by modal and forced response analyses to identify the transfer matrix of the isolator. In this paper, the insertion loss of spring isolators is examined as a function of several geometric parameters including the spring diameter, wire diameter, number of active coils, and height. Results demonstrate how modifications to these parameters affect the insertion loss and the first surge frequency.