Couplings are made to connect rotating shafts in a mechanical device. They are also designed to absorb shock. Because of the role of a coupling, they are often placed under strain and will need to be engineered to be resistant to wear and tear that naturally results from their role. No matter how the system is designed, there is a transfer of power between shafts. Therefore, this transfer of power must be accounted for.
Flexible Vs. Rigid Couplings
The two types of couplings are rigid and flexible couplings. Rigid couplings do not allow for misalignment, while flexible couplings allow for a slight amount of misalignment. The type you choose affects how well the coupling will stand up to wear-and-tear and how long the coupling will last.
Replaceable Gear Couplings
Gear couplings are designed to be easy-to-replace after they have worn out. This is essential because this type of coupling does not allow for misalignment and will wear out more quickly.
Flexible Grid Couplings
One type of flexible coupling is the grid coupling. The grid holds together two hubs and absorbs force. Contact between the grid and the groove increases as the amount of force increases, allowing the coupling to perform outstandingly.
Fluid couplings often have the least wear because there is very little contact between the moving parts of the coupling thanks to the fluid that separates it. Any contact that does occur is cushioned by the fluid. However, the sealing and bearing elements do experience some wear. However, one of the concerns of fluid couplings is that the coupling leaks. Many of these systems will continue to function properly after they have begun leaking, but as the hydraulic fluids deplete, the coupling will cease to function properly and new fluids will need to be added. Leaks also increase the risk that the hydraulic fluid becomes contaminated.
When couplings are used in high temperature environments, one concern is backlash. The solution is to use a flexible elastomer coupling that can allow for a few degrees of misalignment. That way, the system can tolerate some degree of backlash.
If the goal is to incorporate motion control into the couplings, this needs to be conceptualized early in the mechanical engineering process. Otherwise, the motion-control couplings will not meet the complex requirements of your machine. But with careful planning, you will engineer a machine that will stand up to wear and tear much better.
For more information, contact companies like Cabletec.