Vibration isolation is the process of isolating an object, such as a piece of equipment, from the source of vibrations.
Passive vibration isolation systems consist essentially of a mass, spring and damper (dash-pot).
Active vibration isolation systems contain, along with the spring, a feedback circuit which consists of a piezoelectric accelerometer, a controller, and an electromagnetic transducer. The acceleration (vibration) signal is processed by a control circuit and amplifier. Then it feeds the electromagnetic actuator, which amplifies the signal. As a result of such a feedback system, a considerably stronger suppression of vibrations is achieved compared to ordinary damping.
Another technique used to increase isolation is to use an isolated subframe. This splits the system with an additional mass/spring/damper system. This doubles the high frequency attenuation rolloff, at the cost of introducing additional low frequency modes which may cause the low frequency behaviour to deteriorate. This is commonly used in the rear suspensions of cars with Independent Rear Suspension (IRS), and in the front subframes of some cars. The graph (see illustration) shows the force into the body for a subframe that is rigidly bolted to the body compared with the red curve that shows a compliantly mounted subframe. Above 42 Hz the compliantly mounted subframe is superior, but below that frequency the bolted in subframe is better.