Building and Construction

Architects, structural engineers and contractors around the world cooperate with Fabreeka International. They value the engineered material solutions as well as the company's expertise in reducing structure-borne noise, vibration and thermal bridging.

Fabreeka routinely provides a dynamic analysis of steel support structures, including a vibration survey and analysis, to determine current vibration levels and finite element analysis (FEA) to predict resultant vibration for a recommended solution. Add an extensive product portfolio to these services and Fabreeka can offer one-stop vibration control and structure-borne noise solutions for a myriad of applications relative to building and construction. They include elevator isolation, stack vibration dampers to reduce vortex shedding on stacks or towers, fixed or expansion bearings for bridges and buildings, structural and non-structural thermal bridging solutions, and foundation isolation.


Flexibility and movement are a necessity in bridge construction, whether a steel-bridge, a concrete highway overpass, or a bridge for a railroad. Without the ability to flex and move, the structural integrity of the bridge can be compromised, and eventually lead to failure. Fabreeka supplies bearing pads, both fixed and sliding, for bridges around the world.   Fixed bearing pads, such as Fabreeka preformed fabric bearing pads and SA-47 random oriented fiber bearing pads are used on bridges to support uneven load and rotation on steel to steel or steel to concrete connections. These bearing pads, also known as bedding pads, provide uniform load distribution on highway and railroad bridges and reduce vibration by adding damping to steel structures.   Fabreeka’s expansion bearings, or slide bearings, can be used on steel and precast concrete bridges. They offer a durable sliding surface with a low coefficient of friction to allow for thermal expansion and contraction in bridges to minimize structural stresses. Fabreeka type SBX expansion bearings include the company's own preformed fabric bearing pads to allow beam rotations created by loads. SBX expansion bearings also provide an even distribution of loads between members, and vibration is reduced by adding damping to steel structures.   Fabreeka designs and manufactures custom expansion bearings to your specifications, including bearings with ultra-low coefficient of friction and bearings for high temperature applications.  

Bridge Rail Pads

Fabreeka’s Bridge Rail pads have simplified the installation of railings as our SA-47 pad is supplied to the exact size and shape of the rail support contact area. This pad evenly distributes the loading and hold-down forces from the bolts by conforming to the irregularities of the surfaces in which it makes contact. Durable and dependable, Fabreeka bridge rail pads exhibit high compressive strength and a limited creep characteristic. These differentiating factors set them apart from the standard unreinforced neoprene pads, as well as making them a great alternative to epoxy and grout installations.  

Lamp Post Pads

Fabreeka’s Lamp Post pads are an excellent and economical way to reduce shock and vibration induced by wind and traffic. Depending on the height of the pole and state specifications, pads made of either Fabreeka pad or SA-47 are supplied to the exact size, shape and bolt hole-pattern of the lamp post base. Lamp post pads help to evenly distribute loadings and adapt to any irregularities in the concrete mounting surfaces while providing damping to reduce post motion. Additionally, Fabreeka washers and bushings are utilized to completely isolate the lamp post from transmitted vibration.  

Drain Trough

Fabreeka’s Drain Trough material is manufactured into a flexible water drainage system for use on bridges and overpasses. Designed for installation under the expansion joint fingers, these flexible troughs channel water into rigid down spouts and avoid water dripping on vehicles passing under bridges.  


For decades, Fabreeka International has been successful in vibration isolation and reducing structure-borne noise in buildings. With the combined effort of our expert engineering staff and an extensive selection of materials, we provide solutions to the many needs and challenges facing construction in the modern world.   Our fixed bearing pads, whether Fabreeka or SA-47, support uneven load and rotation in steel to steel or steel to concrete connections, and provide even load distribution between members. Bearing pads reduce vibration on building floors, diminish structure-borne noise, and protect structural integrity by absorbing movement and deflection caused by movement.   Fabreeka provides structural expansion bearings, or slide bearings, for numerous building applications. These expansion bearings allow thermal expansion of beams and other members, and they permit beam rotations caused by loads and have a low coefficient of friction which minimizes structural stresses.   A building’s foundation can also require isolation from external vibrations such as traffic, trains, subway cars, or nearby construction. Fabreeka has several foundation isolation products to isolate the building base from these disturbing influences.   Internal sources of structure-borne noise and vibration in buildings can come from mechanical rooms or elevator rail cars. Fabreeka reduces these noise and vibrations to provide a more serene environment for adjacent penthouses, offices, hotel rooms, or any other living spaces that could be adversely affected.   Today’s engineers and architects are well aware of the benefits of energy efficiency. One way to enhance energy performance is by adding a Fabreeka-TIM structural thermal break, which is a load bearing thermal break that is used between flanged steel connections. This energy saving product maintains structural integrity while reducing energy transfer through the building envelope. This thermal bridging solution can be used on balconies and canopies, or other steel members protruding through the building envelope. For structural connections in compression, such as column bases, roof equipment, dunnage post support, and foundation connections, Fabreeka-TIM RF can be used to reduce thermal energy transfer. Additionally, Fabreeka-TIM series products can bring you a step closer to achieving LEED certification.


Steel stacks and towers have relatively low inherent structural damping; therefore, excessive top-of-stack deflection can happen at critical wind speeds due to vortex shedding. To keep deflection within acceptable parameters, damping must be added to the “stack-foundation-soil” system. One way to achieve this is with stack foundation dampers. A ring of Fabreeka preformed fabric pad is placed between the stack base plate and concrete foundation. Additionally, Fabreeka washers are installed between steel washers/plates under the anchor bolt nuts. Introducing damping to the structure minimizes amplification at resonance, therefore creating a more stable structure.



Engineers in almost all industries and many applications have to deal with unwanted vibrations. The energy sector is no exception, and with our increasing environmental awareness the demand to reduce noise and vibrations increases. Fabreeka is an established partner in this field. The company has developed and supplied solutions against transformer vibration and for transformer noise isolation for decades as well as consulting customers all over the world in finding the right products for pipe isolation, gas compressor isolation and the isolation of components of wind turbines.


Turbines, transformers or pipes equipped with Fabreeka products perform more efficiently and have a longer life while work crews can operate in safer, quieter environments. Fabreeka components help protect these important systems during their extended use in often very harsh environments by isolating vibrations and protecting people.


Oil and Gas


A major problem facing companies with gas transmission and petrochemical piping is fatigue failures caused by vibration. High frequency, namely ultrasonic and hypersonic gas pulsations at natural gas transmission line compressor stations, causes metal fatigue in piping, supports and pipe clamps. To eliminate excessive vibration, a properly designed mechanical restraint is required.


The application of Fabreeka Preformed fabric pad with high damping within these mechanical restraints can provide isolation of piping vibrations, thermal flexibility, and reduction of unwanted noise and prevent non-uniform clamp contact pressure. Fabreeka Pad is available in a range of thicknesses to accommodate any design application and is available with a PTFE Teflon® surface for thermal expansion and insulation for high temperatures. To allow thermal expansion without fatiguing piping and clamps, Fabreeka expansion bearings are often fitted under pipes.


In line with the need of pipe and gas compressor isolation, vibration is also present on drilling rigs. Created by mud pumps, compressors, generators and other rotating equipment, the vibration from the equipment is transmitted to the decks on the rig. Fabreeka provides isolation materials for drilling rig equipment to make the rig as quiet as possible and reduce structure fatigue.


Power Generation


For decades, Fabreeka isolation materials have been used to control structure-borne vibration and noise generated from power and distribution transformers and reactors. With alternative energy generation on the rise, Fabreeka pads, Fabcel pads and isolation washers and bushings are now widely used in wind turbines to provide vibration isolation under gear boxes and generators. Fabreeka isolation products are also the material of choice to prevent metal to metal contact on rotating parts with the rotors to reduce wear and fatigue.


Moreover, Fabreeka engineers work with consultants who design power generation facilities involving steam and gas turbine foundation isolation and other turbo-machinery vibration attenuation requirements.


When it comes to transformer noise isolation and vibration isolation, engineers can choose from a variety of standard vibration isolation mounts for small transformers that may weigh up to 10,000 lbs. Fabreeka also offers custom solutions for large transformers in transformer yards. They all have in common that they reduce noise and vibration for both single phase and three-phase transformers and protect concrete from fatigue due to vibration. Another benefit is the reduction of noise by 3 to 5 dB on average which may be increased to a reduction of 8 dB depending on transformer configuration.


For turbine vibration isolation as well as for engine generator isolation countless clients in many countries have chosen Fabreeka pad, Fabreeka washers and bushings and Fabcel pad. Foundation isolation products such as FAB-EPM, FAB-EFP and Fabsorb are also in use for the isolation of engine generators. For the latter turnkey solutions are available, including demolition, foundation design and concrete construction.
Heavy Equipment


Much of the heavy equipment used to manufacture steel or to form metal is massive. When this equipment is in operation, heavy impacts in the form of shocks and vibrations are generated. The heavy equipment is often operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and shutdown for repairs results in reduced production and increased cost.


Plant operators and engineers concerned about heavy equipment vibration closely work with Fabreeka. The company has provided solutions for forge hammer isolation and the shock isolation of presses, namely forge presses, punch presses and stamping presses since 1953. Impact shock and vibration caused by heavy equipment also occurs in mining and when producing pulp and paper. Here, too, Fabreeka pads, washers and bushings have long been reliable solutions to reduce impact shock and vibration in a wide variety of operations.


Metal Forming


Metal forming equipment including forging hammers, forge presses, stamping presses and punch presses can be a major generator of impact shock and vibration disturbances in a plant, thereby causing problems for workers, sensitive equipment within the plant, offices in the building or even causing disturbances with neighbors. The main problem is shock transmission, and the secondary problem is the ensuing high frequency vibration caused by the shock.


Effective solutions to both problems are Fabreeka and Fabcel pads. They have been successfully used on metal forming equipment to reduce shock in the form of bumpers or mounting pads and to reduce vibration transmission as mounting pads or within a machine’s structure. The Fabreeka pad is widely used in forging hammers to absorb the energy of the blow and protect the hammer supporting structure. Fabreeka pads, isolation mounts, “soft systems” and coil spring isolators offer a solution for any hammer or press installation.




Fabreeka pads, washers and bushings have an impressive history in reducing impact shock and vibration in a wide variety of mining operations including draglines and shovels, mine cars, crushers, chutes and hoppers, grizzlies, rock breakers, feeders, screens, vibration conveyors, shake outs, pulverizers and smelting operations.


In these applications where foundations and structures are broken or damaged due to large impacts, Fabreeka pads are used to protect and prolong equipment use. Customers also utilize the proven Fabreeka pad material to improve the service life of the upper and lower rails on draglines and shovels by reducing the high roller load stress. A widely used choice to distribute the massive forces on the ball bearings are Fabreeka rings.


Another advantage for engineers is the flexibility of integrating Fabreeka's products and their material. Thus, the types of mines in which Fabreeka improves the work life of humans and their heavy equipment include aluminum, copper, iron, precious metals such as gold and silver, lime, phosphate, asbestos, uranium, salts, nitrate, gems, lithium, and beryllium.


Pulp, Paper and Presses


The initial handling of logs is the same whether they are being processed for lumber or for paper making pulp. In either case, the logs are first run over de-barker rolls to remove the bark to then be picked up by carriage rolls and fed into band mill saws. When lumber is being processed for use in the making of paper pulp, it is taken from the band mill saws on roller conveyors first into chippers, then mixing tanks and finally vibrating screens. Along with the de-barkers and chippers, mechanical and chemical pulp and paper mills both have equipment such as hogs, conveyors and pump stations in their processes which produce high levels of vibration and shock. In many of these pulp and paper applications, Fabreeka pads, washers and bushings as well as Fabcel pads have a positive track record in eliminating impact shock and vibration.


With the demand for higher quality and volume, printing plants use printing presses with high speeds to provide them with the competitive edge. Rotary offset presses, with standard operating production speeds of 1,400 to 1,800 rpm, can produce vibration that is transmitted through the building structure. This can negatively affect the quality of the print and the environment of the workers. When this kind of printing press vibration is involved, previous installations have shown that Fabreeka pads have reduced high frequency vibrations by as much as 80 percent in critical press applications, while remaining stiff enough to maintain press alignment and trim.




There are many applications in steel mills where Fabreeka pad protects the equipment, structure and foundations from damage by impact shock and vibration. The design and installation of Fabreeka pad greatly reduces fatigue of metal parts and deterioration of concrete supporting structures, thus lengthening their service life plus reducing downtime and cost of maintenance.


Fabreeka pad is currently used as a bumper to reduce impact shock on cold bar shears, mill tables and coil drops where steel ingots or coils of steel are handled and dropped, creating large forces and stresses within the equipment.


Fabreeka pad has also successfully replaced coil springs on ingot buggies and hot metal cars providing the necessary cushioning in the journal box area of the equipment. The pads also used to increase longevity by damping the supporting steel or concrete structures which can fatigue over time when shredders cause random vibration.


In every case, Fabreeka engineers work closely with consultants who specialize in steel mill production to provide shock and vibration solutions for equipment within the steel manufacturing process.
Industrial Machinery


Designing foundations supporting machine tools requires sound engineering procedures for a reliable result. An incorrectly designed foundation is extremely difficult to correct once installed. Consequently, many engineers use Fabreeka isolation materials and machine mounts, knowing that they provide vibration isolation and leveling for proper machine tool installation.


Fabreeka also provides solutions for applications when it is not desirable or feasible to mount a machine directly on vibration isolators. For example, installing vibration isolators on a machine whose frame or bed requires a stiff connection can cause bending, relative displacement or sagging and other problems, even when the floor is sufficiently rigid. For cases like this, Fabreeka recommends that the frame or bed is attached to a properly designed concrete foundation, which is then supported on appropriate isolators for the application.


In many cases, manufacturing and quality control must co-exist in work-cells or in close proximity to one another. For certain machine tools, the permissible amplitudes of foundation vibrations in a manufacturing environment are very low. It often is very difficult to decrease or isolate vibration amplitudes by simply pouring a new foundation on soil. It also may not be possible to increase the stiffness or rigidity of the machine support structure, often floors, itself to avoid resonance or amplification of vibration. In these cases, unacceptable vibration amplitudes can be significantly reduced by using vibration isolators provided by Fabreeka.


Certain types of machine tools are not inherently rigid and therefore need a rigid support to maintain their prescribed accuracy. In other types of machinery, such as printing presses, consisting of articulated components, a rigid support may be needed to maintain the proper alignment of working parts. Fabreeka is a trusted partner and supplier in those cases as well.


Engineering disciplines involved in the proper design procedures for isolated support foundations include theory of vibrations, geotechnical engineering or studying soil characteristics plus structural design and analysis.


Rotating Equipment


Fabreeka isolation products provide vibration control on a wide variety of rotating and reciprocating machinery and equipment that produce vibration during operation. Our engineers work closely with OEMs as well as end users to obtain the operating frequencies, dynamic or unbalanced loads, critical alignments and isolation mount specifications for a complete isolation solution.


In line with this, fans, blowers, motors, reciprocating and screw type pumps as well as compressors, engine-generator sets, gear boxes and generators are all applications where Fabreeka or Fabcel isolation pads, washers and bushings can be used. They are also the right choice to prevent roof top HVAC vibration.


Depending on the rotational speed of the equipment and its weight support area, other Fabreeka products, namely Fabcel pad or machine support foundation isolation products such as FAB-EPM, FAB-EFP and Fabsorb are qualified.


Turnkey solutions are also available at Fabreeka, including demolition, foundation design and concrete construction if a foundation is needed for rotating and other equipment.


Other Equipment


Fabreeka Crane Rail pad material is used to reduce vibration, stresses and mechanical wear and tear associated with bridge, gantry and ore crane operation, thereby reducing maintenance costs. Fabreeka Crane Rail pads are designed to relieve girder stress, improve load distribution, eliminate mechanical wear of flange or cover plates, dampen vibration and reduce noise.


The laminated thermoset plastic (LTP) surface of the crane rail pad improves wear resistance, restricts lateral movement and provides a low coefficient of friction support for the rail. Tests performed by independent sources have shown up to 40% reduction in runway beam web stress and noise levels reduced substantially when using this Fabreeka product.


Automation equipment such as assembly and packaging equipment can cause vibration affecting other equipment or may be sensitive to vibration coming from the manufacturing floor. Vibration isolation products such as Fabreeka or Fabcel pad plus isolation washers and Fabreeka bushings can be used to reduce the vibration to more acceptable levels, as is also the case with milling machines, CNC and other machine tools that may also be sensitive to factory floor vibration, influencing their accuracy.


Last, not least, injection molding machines can cause disturbing vibration to other machines when molds are opening and closing. Depending on the size, pad products supplied by Fabreeka can be placed directly under the machine or support the machine and a foundation to add rigidity.


Vibration and shock are common in every field of transportation. Whether commuters or travelers go by train, bus or by car, people are inevitably exposed to vibrations of considerable magnitude in vertical and lateral directions. The most affected people by vibration are the train engineers and bus drivers. To protect them and, more importantly, their passengers and to find suitable rail car isolation, design engineers work with Fabreeka to determine the isolation products which are ideal solutions to reduce impact and shock vibration.


Fabreeka products can also play an important role to prevent significant damages to the transported equipment and goods. As online commerce thrives and more and more goods are transported daily by trucks and railroad, vibration and shock loads are generated and protective solutions are in demand.



Railroad and Rail Cars


Vibration and noise resulting from wheel rail loads can be easily transmitted through the vehicle journal boxes and springs and into the vehicle body. Fabreeka Pad and SA-47 have been used for rail car isolation in the suspension of rail car for decades.


Pads are used on top and bottom of coil springs, top of journal boxes and under truck side bearings and spring planks. Fabreeka pad can also be used as a wear plate on the bolster or transom.


To provide rail support, Fabreeka pad can be used in many locations under the rails and also under the rail chair. The applications are varied and include bridge masonry plate pads, bridge rail end lock support pads, ballast-less bridge deck pads, tie plate pads and pads at crossings.


Once a suitable solution is installed, there are many benefits. Working with Fabreeka ensures proper distribution of loads over the entire bearing area and also reduces wear between steel to steel and steel to concrete, resulting in better protection, less impacts, more efficiency and a longer rail life. Absorbing shock and vibration also can significantly reduce noise and the need for maintenance.




Numerous Fabreeka products are used on many different types of vehicles. A common solution, for instance, is to use Fabcel pad or DIMFAB when mounting motors and other components to ships to isolate the equipment effectively from damaging vibrations. Fabreeka pad also works well as a suspension system in military trucks and can easily be fitted or retro-fitted to suspensions and moving components in farm equipment.


  • Meets or exceeds MIL-C-882 and MIL-E-5272 specifications
  • Accommodates compressive loads up to 10,000 psi
  • Creep is limited to approximately 5% of the original pad thickness
  • Has a relatively high damping rate of 14% of critical
  • Impermeable to most oils and the effects of steam, water, mildew and brine
  • Effective temperature range is -65°F to 200°F

Fabreeka pad is the original preformed fabric reinforced, elastomeric pad developed in 1936. The properties of the Fabreeka cotton duck pad are exceptionally suited for impact shock control, vibration isolation and structure-borne noise insulation. Fabreeka pad can be used as a bearing pad as well as for isolation washers, bushings and OEM parts.


Fabreeka pad has been used for over 80 years for mounting heavy machinery where absorption of impact shock is required. Meeting or exceeding MIL-C-882 and MIL-E-5272 specifications, Fabreeka pad prevents cracking and flaking of concrete, eliminates the need for grout and prolongs the life of both machines and structures. Each preformed fabric pad made by Fabreeka is scientifically constructed to give years of service under the most severe operating conditions.


When considering vibration isolation, usually more than one disturbing frequency is present in a machine. As a general rule, an attempt should be made to isolate the frequency producing the largest vibration amplitude, while avoiding resonance with the other disturbing frequencies. Fabreeka’s fabric reinforced elastomeric material, with its resilience, minimal deflection and high strength, often serves as a more practical vibration isolator than softer materials.


Very effective, flexible and tough


Fabreeka’s part in isolating noise is one of reducing structure-borne noise. Fabreeka reduces mechanical vibrations which can be converted to air-borne noise. When isolating structure-borne noise, it is essential that all conductive paths of vibration be blocked. Therefore, Fabreeka pads, washers and bushings are required to completely break the metal-to-metal contact between the isolated unit and its support.


Fabreeka bearing pads were first used as a bridge bearing and are commonly used as a structural bearing element accommodating surface irregularity and rotations between load bearing faces. The preformed fabric pads can also be provided with a Teflon® surface for use in expansion bearings and pipe slides.


Depending upon the size and thickness, Fabreeka pad can ultimately withstand loads up to 10,000 psi. Normally, compressive stresses are designed not to exceed 2,000 psi to extend service life and reduce permanent set


What are the vibration isolation characteristics of Fabreeka pad?
Please refer to pages 8-15 in our Fabreeka Pad brochure.

Does all “cotton duck” reinforced pad material meet the MIL-C-882 specification?
No. The MIL-C-882 specification requires specific strength, deflection, density and permanent set properties.

How can I be sure the material I am buying meets the MIL-C-882 specification?
The supplier should supply a material certification stating that the material meets MIL-C-882. In addition, the deflection, creep and environmental test data should be provided or certified to.

What environmental tests are involved with the MIL-C-882 specification?
The pad material must pass several environmental tests per MIL-E-5272A.

What is creep?
Creep is the deformation of rubber is influenced by the length of time under stress. If the rubber is statically loaded to a given amount, as occurs for example by the support of a machine, then an elastic deformation takes place superseded after a longer period of time by creep. Creep behavior follows an exponential law and is concluded sometime afterward. If the isolator is released, then its shape returns elastically. High elastic grades show a small residual strain and minimal creep. With good elastic qualities, the creep lies between 5% and 10% of the total elastic strain.

What is permanent set?
Permanent set, or residual strain, takes place after prolonged loading and unloading of an isolator, and lies between 2% and 5% of its original thickness.

How is damping different than isolation/absorption?
The essential properties of an isolator are natural frequency (developed by the spring rate or stiffness) and an energy dissipating mechanism known as damping. In some types of isolators, the stiffness or natural frequency and damping properties are contained in a single element such as elastomers, cork, rubber mats, etc. Other types of isolators may have separate means of providing stiffness and damping as is the case with air springs (pneumatic isolators) and coil steel springs, which are relatively undamped until used in conjunction with auxiliary damping elements such as orifice flow restrictors and viscous dampers. The purpose of damping in an isolator is to reduce or dissipate energy as rapidly as possible. Damping is also beneficial in reducing vibration amplitudes at resonance. Resonance occurs when the natural frequency of the isolator coincides with the frequency of the source vibration.

The ideal isolator would have as little damping as possible in its isolation region as much as possible at the isolator’s natural frequency to reduce amplification at resonance. Damping, however, can also lead to a loss of isolation efficiency.

Can Fabreeka pad material act as an electrical insulator?
Fabreeka pad has a dielectric strength of 12,500 volts (210 volts/mil) and a resistivity of 8.5 x 10e9 ohm-cm. (Insulating material classification requires a resistivity greater than 10e5 ohm-cm.) As a comparison, natural rubber has a resistivity value of 10e15 ohm-cm. Fabreeka pad has a dielectric constant of 9.34, with a power factor of 0.201 and a loss index of 1.881. All of these values are for Fabreeka pad at a standard room conditions of 73°F (213°C) and 50% relative humidity.

How does static spring rate differ from dynamic spring rate?
The static deflection principle can only be used to determine the natural frequency of an isolator if the isolator under consideration is both linear and elastic. For example: rubber, felt, fiberglass and composite materials tend to be non-linear and exhibit a dynamic spring rate that differs from the static spring rate.

Similarly, the spring rate of a pneumatic isolator changes when undergoing a change from the static condition to a dynamic condition.

The natural frequency as calculated based on static load vs. deflection data will give inaccurate lower natural frequencies as compared to realistic experience during dynamic vibration.

Any isolator with a calculated natural frequency based on static deflection may not behave in the predicted way because the dynamic spring rate differs from the static spring rate. It is the dynamic natural frequency that has to be used in isolation calculations rather than the static natural frequency.

What are the thermal properties of Fabreeka material?
Thermal conductivity of Fabreeka material is expressed in power per unit of area divided by temperature gradient in degrees per unit of length. The Imperial units are 1.90 BTU INCH/HR/FT-SQ/Degrees F.

What are the manufacturing tolerances of the Fabreeka Pad?
Manufacturing tolerances vary by thickness and part geometry. Please contact Fabreeka’s Engineering department at 1-800-322-7352 or to discuss the tolerances for your application.