I just talked to a Sorbothane Rep and I am able to obtain some Sorbothane sheets at a lower price than retail with a pretty low MOQ. This will only benefit CONUS as shipping prices for int’l will most likely exceed the savings.
What is Sorbothane?
Sorbothane is a proprietary, visco-elastic polymer. Sorbothane® is a thermoset, polyether-based, polyurethane material. In addition to being visco-elastic, Sorbothane® also has a very high damping coefficient. Sorbothane® combines shock absorption, good memory, vibration isolation and vibration damping characteristics. While many materials exhibit one of these characteristics, Sorbothane® combines all of them in a stable material with a long fatigue life. Sorbothane® has a low creep rate compared to other polymers (rubber, neoprene, silicone, etc.)
What use does Sorbothane have for keyboards?
Sorbothane® has wide applications in:
Shock absorption in industrial, electronic, athletic and medical applications
Vibration isolation in industrial, electronic and ergonomic applications
Vibration damping in industrial, electronic and ergonomic applications
Gasket/sealing in industrial and electronic applications
Applications where low cost, high color plastic molding is required
High-space-efficiency acoustic absorption
High-space-efficiency acoustic barriers
Personal notes from working with Sorbothane on multiple keyboards:
Sorbothane is a naturally sticky kind of rubbery material. It’ll stick well to itself and to flat surface metals, but can peel off pretty easily. If you aren’t a fan of its stickyness, you could always leave it out for a day or two to collect dust if that’s what you really want. Alternatively you can leave it in the plastic in comes in.
Sorbothane is probably easier to cut with scissors than with a knife.
Sorbothane can be used like traditional foam sheets to help modify the sounds inside of your keyboard.
For example; take my
Nightfox without Sorbothane:
and my Nightfox with Sorbothane:
These sounds may not appeal to everyone, but I think it’s an interesting solution to at least try out.
Traditionally Sorbothane has been around $21-$35 on Amazon for a 6" x 12" sheet for various duros ('hardness" rating).
There is actually a $16, 30 duro sheet in stock which I would recommend getting if you don’t want to wait for this GB
Now let’s talk pricing, and product offered.
I will be offering 6" x 12" x 0.1" Sorbothane Sheets.
The minimum MOQ I need is 10, with a small price difference at 50 units.
At the first MOQ Point, including shipping CONUS; I’m pretty confident I can sell each one for $16 shipped. There is a possibility I could do $15 shipped, but I’m still looking into that.
At the MOQ of 50, the price would only drop $1. It’s not much, but at least it’s something.
A second product i’m considering offering is pre-cut sorbothane sheets. These sheets would be cut for a 60% plate, with the switch mounts cut out. This would allow you to actually place the Sorbothane sheet between your plate and PCB. To be honest I haven’t tried this as a form of vibration or silencing, but I would guess it would make a difference. Whether the difference is well liked or not still needs to be tested. Pricing for this still needs to be determined since I can choose both a water jet cut and die cut option for getting the sorbothane cut.
I may offer other sizes/thicknesses/duro in the future for sheets, but I want to start it off nice and easy.
If you are interested in either product please fill out this google form
Please let me know if you have any questions!