A compensating damper comprises opposed working end faces (1788), a hermetically sealed chamber between the working end faces, and a set of plates (1701) in the chamber with a film of viscous fluid between each pair of adjacent plates. The damper has at least two different film thickness zones across the set of plates, each of the different film thickness zones providing a different resistance response when acted upon by an outside force exerted on at least one of the opposed working end faces. Multiple internal guide pins (1723) may extend axially from the opposed working end faces for engaging the plate stack partially from each of said working end faces to increase the stroke while providing for a compact damper. The plates may have a conical configuration to providing dampening in different plans.
A force limiting device comprises a housing defining an axially extending chamber containing a working fluid. A force transmitting member may be mounted for linear reciprocable movement inside the chamber under the action of external loads. An axial array of plates is floatingly disposed in the chamber between the force transmitting member and an end wall of the chamber. At rest, each plate is spaced from an adjacent plate by a gap occupied by the working fluid. When the force transmitting member is displaced towards the array of plates, the fluid in the chamber causes the plates to be successively pushed against each other, thereby causing some of the fluid to be squeezed out from between the plates.