This article is about a mechanical connection between two objects. For other uses, see Coupling (disambiguation).
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A coupling is a device used to lớn connect two shafts together at their ends for the purpose of transmitting power. The primary purpose of couplings is to lớn join two pieces of rotating equipment while permitting some degree of misalignment or kết thúc movement or both. In a more general context, a coupling can also be a mechanical device that serves to lớn connect the ends of adjacent parts or objects. Couplings bởi not normally allow disconnection of shafts during operation, however there are torque-limiting couplings which can slip or disconnect when some torque limit is exceeded. Selection, installation and maintenance of couplings can lead to lớn reduced maintenance time and maintenance cost.
Shaft couplings are used in machinery for several purposes. A primary function is to lớn transfer power from one kết thúc to lớn another kết thúc (ex: motor transfer power to lớn pump through coupling).
Other common uses:
- To alter the vibration characteristics of rotating units
- To connect the driving and the driven part
- To introduce protection
- To reduce the transmission of shock loads from one shaft to lớn another
- To slip when overload occurs
A beam coupling, also known as helical coupling, is a flexible coupling for transmitting torque between two shafts while allowing for angular misalignment, parallel offset and even axial motion, of one shaft relative to lớn the other. This design utilizes a single piece of material and becomes flexible by removal of material along a spiral path resulting in a curved flexible beam of helical shape. Since it is made from a single piece of material, the beam style coupling does not exhibit the backlash found in some multi-piece couplings. Another advantage of being an all machined coupling is the possibility to lớn incorporate features into the final product while still keep the single piece integrity.
Changes to lớn the lead of the helical beam provide changes to lớn misalignment capabilities as well as other performance characteristics such as torque capacity and torsional stiffness. It is even possible to lớn have multiple starts within the same helix.
The material used to lớn manufacture the beam coupling also affects its performance and suitability for specific applications such as food, medical and aerospace. Materials are typically aluminum alloy and stainless steel, but they can also be made in acetal, maraging steel and titanium. The most common applications are attaching rotary encoders to lớn shafts and motion control for robotics.
Beam couplings can be known by various names depending upon industry. These names include flexible coupling, flexible beam coupling, flexible shaft coupling, flexure, helical coupling, and shaft coupling.
The primary benefit to lớn using a flexible beam coupling to lớn join two rotating shafts is to lớn reducing vibration and reaction loads which in turn will reduce overall wear and tear on machinery and prolong equipment life.
A beam coupling with optional features machined into it
Increasing number of coils allows for greater angular misalignment.
Bush pin flange
Bush pin flange coupling is used for slightly imperfect alignment of the two shafts.
This is modified sườn of the protected type flange coupling. This type of coupling has pins and it works with coupling bolts. The rubber or leather bushes are used over the pins. The coupling has two halves dissimilar in construction. The pins are rigidly fastened by nuts to lớn one of the flange and kept loose on the other flange. This coupling is used to lớn connect shafts which have a small parallel misalignment, angular misalignment or axial misalignment. In this coupling the rubber bushing absorbs shocks and vibration during its operations. This type of coupling is mostly used to lớn couple electric motors and machines.
There are various types of constant-velocity (CV) couplings: Rzeppa joint, Double cardan joint, and Thompson coupling.
Clamp or split-muff
In this coupling, the muff or sleeve is made into two halves parts of the cast iron and they are joined by means of mild steel studs or bolts. The advantages of this coupling is that assembling or disassembling of the coupling is possible without changing the position of the shaft. This coupling is used for heavy power transmission at moderate tốc độ.
Diaphragm couplings transmit torque from the outside diameter of a flexible plate to lớn the inside diameter, across the spool or spacer piece, and then from inside to lớn outside diameter. The deforming of a plate or series of plates from I.D. to lớn O.D accomplishes the misalignment.
Disc couplings transmit torque from a driving to lớn a driven bolt tangentially on a common bolt circle. Torque is transmitted between the bolts through a series of thin, stainless steel discs assembled in a pack. Misalignment is accomplished by deforming of the material between the bolts.
An elastic coupling transmits torque or other load by means of an elastic component. One example is the coupling used to lớn join a windsurfing rig (sail, mast, and components) to lớn the sailboard. In windsurfing terminology it is usually called a "universal joint", but modern designs are usually based on a strong flexible material, and better technically described as an elastic coupling. They can be tendon or hourglass-shaped, and are constructed of a strong and durable elastic material. In this application, the coupling does not transmit torque, but instead transmits sail-power to lớn the board, creating thrust (some portion of sail-power is also transmitted through the rider's body).
Flexible couplings are usually used to lớn transmit torque from one shaft to lớn another when the two shafts are slightly misaligned. They can accommodate varying degrees of misalignment up to lớn 1.5° and some parallel misalignment. They can also be used for vibration damping or noise reduction. In rotating shaft applications a flexible coupling can protect the driving and driven shaft components (such as bearings) from the harmful effects of conditions such as misaligned shafts, vibration, shock loads, and thermal expansion of the shafts or other components.
At first, flexible couplings separate into two essential groups, metallic and elastomeric. Metallic types utilize freely fitted parts that roll or slide against one another or, on the other hand, non-moving parts that bend to lớn take up misalignment. Elastomeric types, then again, gain flexibility from resilient, non-moving, elastic or plastic elements transmitting torque between metallic hubs.
A gear coupling is a mechanical device for transmitting torque between two shafts that are not collinear. It consists of a flexible joint fixed to lớn each shaft. The two joints are connected by a third shaft, called the spindle.
Each joint consists of a 1:1 gear ratio internal/external gear pair. The tooth flanks and outer diameter of the external gear are crowned to lớn allow for angular displacement between the two gears. Mechanically, the gears are equivalent to lớn rotating splines with modified profiles. They are called gears because of the relatively large size of the teeth.
Gear couplings and universal joints are used in similar applications. Gear couplings have higher torque densities than thở universal joints designed to lớn fit a given space while universal joints induce lower vibrations. The limit on torque mật độ trùng lặp từ khóa in universal joints is due to lớn the limited cross sections of the cross and yoke. The gear teeth in a gear coupling have high backlash to lớn allow for angular misalignment. The excess backlash can contribute to lớn vibration.
Gear couplings are generally limited to lớn angular misalignments, i.e., the angle of the spindle relative to lớn the axes of the connected shafts, of 4–5°. Universal joints are capable of higher misalignments.
Single joint gear couplings are also used to lớn connect two nominally coaxial shafts. In this application the device is called a gear-type flexible, or flexible coupling. The single joint allows for minor misalignments such as installation errors and changes in shaft alignment due to lớn operating conditions. These types of gear couplings are generally limited to lớn angular misalignments of 1/4–1/2°.
A grid coupling is composed of two shaft hubs, a metallic grid spring, and a split cover kit. Torque is transmitted between the two coupling shaft hubs through the metallic grid spring element.
Like metallic gear and disc couplings, grid couplings have a high torque mật độ trùng lặp từ khóa. A benefit of grid couplings, over either gear or disc couplings, is the ability their grid coupling spring elements have to lớn absorb and spread peak load impact energy over time. This reduces the magnitude of peak loads and offers some vibration dampening capability. A negative of the grid coupling design is that it generally is very limited in its ability to lớn accommodate the misalignment.
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Highly flexible couplings are installed when resonance or torsional vibration might be an issue, since they are designed to lớn eliminate torsional vibration problems and to lớn balance out shock impacts.
They are used in installations where the systems require a high level of torsional flexibility and misalignment capacity. This type of coupling provides an effective damping of torsional vibrations, and high displacement capacity, which protects the drive. The design of the highly flexible elastic couplings makes assembly easier. These couplings also compensate shaft displacements (radial, axial and angular) and the torque is transmitted in shear. Depending on the size and stiffness of the coupling, the flexible part may be single- or multi-row.
Hirth joints use tapered teeth on two shaft ends meshed together to lớn transmit torque.
Jaw coupling is also known as spider or Lovejoy coupling.
A magnetic coupling uses magnetic forces to lớn transmit the power from one shaft to lớn another without any tương tác. This allows for full medium separation. It can provide the ability to lớn hermetically separate two areas whilst continuing to lớn transmit mechanical power from one to lớn the other making these couplings ideal for applications where prevention of cross-contamination is essential.
An Oldham coupling has three discs, one coupled to lớn the input, one coupled to lớn the output, and a middle disc that is joined to lớn the first two by tongue and groove. The tongue and groove on one side is perpendicular to lớn the tongue and groove on the other. The middle disc rotates around its center at the same tốc độ as the input and output shafts. Its center traces a circular orbit, twice per rotation, around the midpoint between input and output shafts. Often springs are used to lớn reduce backlash of the mechanism. An advantage to lớn this type of coupling, as compared to lớn two universal joints, is its compact size. The coupler is named for John Oldham who invented it in Ireland, in 1821, to lớn solve a problem in a paddle steamer design.
Oldham coupler, assembled
Oldham coupler, disassembled
Rag joints are commonly used on automotive steering linkages and drive trains. When used on a drive train they are sometimes known as giubos.
Rigid couplings are used when precise shaft alignment is required; any shaft misalignment will affect the coupling's performance as well as its life span, because rigid couplings bởi not have the ability to lớn compensate for misalignment. Due to lớn this, their application is limited, and they're typically used in applications involving vertical drivers.
Clamped or compression rigid couplings come in two parts and fit together around the shafts to lớn sườn a sleeve. They offer more flexibility than thở sleeved models, and can be used on shafts that are fixed in place. They generally are large enough ví that screws can pass all the way through the coupling and into the second half to lớn ensure a secure hold. Flanged rigid couplings are designed for heavy loads or industrial equipment. They consist of short sleeves surrounded by a perpendicular flange. One coupling is placed on each shaft ví the two flanges line up face to lớn face. A series of screws or bolts can then be installed in the flanges to lớn hold them together. Because of their size and durability, flanged units can be used to lớn bring shafts into alignment before they are joined.
Sleeve, box, or muff
A sleeve coupling consists of a pipe whose bore is finished to lớn the required tolerance based on the shaft size. Based on the usage of the coupling a keyway is made in the bore in order to lớn transmit the torque by means of the key. Two threaded holes are provided in order to lớn lock the coupling in position.
Sleeve couplings are also known as box couplings. In this case shaft ends are coupled together and abutted against each other which are enveloped by muff or sleeve.
A gib head sunk keys hold the two shafts and sleeve together (this is the simplest type of the coupling) It is made from the cast iron and very simple to lớn design and manufacture. It consists of a hollow pipe whose inner diameter is same as diameter of the shafts. The hollow pipe is fitted over a two or more ends of the shafts with the help of the taper sunk key. A key and sleeve are useful to lớn transmit power from one shaft to lớn another shaft.
Tapered shaft lock
A tapered lock is a sườn of keyless shaft locking device that does not require any material to lớn be removed from the shaft. The basic idea is similar to lớn a clamp coupling but the moment of rotation is closer to lớn the center of the shaft. An alternative coupling device to lớn the traditional parallel key, the tapered lock removes the possibility of play due to lớn worn keyways. It is more robust than thở using a key because maintenance only requires one tool and the self-centering balanced rotation means it lasts longer than thở a keyed joint would, but the downside is that it costs more.
A flexible coupling made from two counter-wound springs with a ball bearing in the center, which allows torque transfer from input to lớn output shaft. Requires no lubrication to lớn consistently lập cập as it has no internal components.
Maintenance and failure
Coupling maintenance requires a regularly scheduled inspection of each coupling. It consists of:
- Performing visual inspections
- Checking for signs of wear or fatigue
- Cleaning couplings regularly
- Checking and changing lubricant regularly if the coupling is lubricated. This maintenance is required annually for most couplings and more frequently for couplings in adverse environments or in demanding operating conditions.
- Documenting the maintenance performed on each coupling, along with the date.
Even with proper maintenance, however, couplings can fail. Underlying reasons for failure, other than thở maintenance, include:
- Improper installation
- Poor coupling selection
- Operation beyond design capabilities.
External signs that indicate potential coupling failure include:
- Abnormal noise, such as screeching, squealing or chattering
- Excessive vibration or wobble
- Failed seals indicated by lubricant leakage or contamination.
Couplings are normally balanced at the factory prior to lớn being shipped, but they occasionally go out of balance in operation. Balancing can be difficult and expensive, and is normally done only when operating tolerances are such that the effort and the expense are justified. The amount of coupling unbalance that can be tolerated by any system is dictated by the characteristics of the specific connected machines and can be determined by detailed analysis or experience.
- Railway coupling
Wikimedia Commons has truyền thông media related to lớn Couplings.
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- Yutaka Nishiyama, From Oldham's Coupling to lớn Air Conditioners