Applied to machinery to aid in a myriad of operations, couplings serve the primary function of connecting two shafts together to efficiently transmit power while also allowing minimal part misalignment and/or end movement. Coming in various rigid or flexible types, the application of such devices can also be used to alter vibrations exposed to rotating parts, minimize shock transmission to protect surrounding items, connect driving components, and allow for slip during imposed overload situations. Depending on what your operational demands require, this blog will highlight common couplings and their primary function(s), that way you can best find the item you are in search of.
Bush Pin Flange Couplings: When parallel misalignment, axial misalignment, or angular misalignment is present among two connected couplings, the implementation of a bush pin flange coupling may be your best solution. Essentially a modified protective flange coupling consisting of two dissimilar halves, one half is constructed with pins, that of which must be affixed to the second half with coupling bolts. However, upon installation, one must note that one flange will always necessitate tightly fastened pins, while the other will require the opposite. Moreover, to promote rigid security between both flanges, rubber or leather bushes can be applied.
Gear Couplings: Whenever angular misalignment is a concern among two non-collinear shafts, gear couplings are recommended. Commonly used with mechanical rotary components, gear couplings facilitate the exchange of torque between two shafts which are attached to a drive shaft. Designed with an internal and external gear pair that resemble rotating splines, such components harbor teeth which interlock to promote torque density and heavy backlash for angular misalignment.
Highly-Flexible Couplings: As their name states, highly flexible couplings are employed to accommodate misalignment among motor and driven loads. However, they are not to be used as a remedy for poor part misalignment contributed by a lack of maintenance, as improper application can lead to excessive force imposed on the motor or driven load. In addition, they can also be applied to dampen excessive vibrational forces which can lead to nearby part failure, alongside serving as a fuse during the event of torque overload. When considering this item as an option, you must first deliberate over your system's prime mover type, its real torque requirements, linear & torsional vibration limits, shaft sizes, keyway sizes, bore & shaft fit, shaft-to-shaft misalignment ratios, and more, as applicable. This will ultimately determine the best flexible coupling for you, encouraging optimal part life-expectancy if upheld to routine inspection(s).
If you need to replace a damaged or worn coupling, you should always consider whether the item you were previously using was the correct fit for your operations. As the selection of specific couplings of a determined type and size can change the performance of your machinery, the wrong type of coupling can easily lead to premature part failure and costly system repairs.
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