To connect rotary equipment to shafts and transfer torque, flexible shaft couplings are installed in equipment and machinery. Since shafts are used to provide motion and often operate at high speed, shaft couplings must be secure to keep the shaft rigid and prevent it from moving. This is particularly important in vehicles.
Manufacturers use shaft couplings to connect rotary equipment like driveshafts, line shafts, power transmissions, wheels, and more in aerospace, automotive and construction industries. A rigid shaft coupling connects shafts with a linear alignment. A fluid coupling works by transferring energy through oil by way of a pump. Flexible couplings like bellows or Oldham couplings connect shafts that need more flexibility or are not linear in their alignment. For 90-degree angles, gear couplings are used to transfer rotary motion.
Universal joints work in a similar manner to provide a full range of motion. Flywheel couplings and torque limiters are both types of motor couplings that are flexible enough to be used in car transmissions. For applications where vibration must be limited, jaw couplings are used for maximum dampening.
A common type of rigid shaft is a driveshaft. Driveshafts transfer power in a car, motorcycle or truck. A universal joint allows the shaft to rotate and bend while still providing torque to the wheels. The central hub of the universal joint is where the shaft is joined to the third element. This allows for more bending than in a flexible shaft coupling.
Gear couplings are also used in similar applications. A gear coupling is designed like a sprocket and it connects shafts while providing torque at the same time. If equipment is designed with more than 5 degrees of misalignment, manufacturers use universal joints or gear couplings for maximum flexibility. Read More…
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Flexible Shaft Coupling Informational Video