We all know the value of an ounce of prevention. But what if the wrong bellows coupling has already been installed unbeknownst to you? Can you recognize warning signs before a complete coupling failure? Sometimes you can says Robert Watkins of Ruland Manufacturing. With bellows coupling torque failure, you can often see a deformation in the bellows early on.
If a coupling like this were to remain in service for much longer the bellows would actually tear. It would tear and you would end up with that coupling in two pieces, part of the bellows attached to one end and part of the bellows attached to the other in a clean rip through the middle of that coupling.
Because of the design of bellows couplings, the bellows in the middle is a thin stainless steel tubing and when it does start to fail a lot of times a crack will develop in the bellows. You can hear it in operation and it will make a snap, crackle, pop kind of noise as that crack in the bellows opens and closes.
If you have an application for a bellows coupling and someone says it’s making cracking noises, it’s near the end of its service life. It’s time to order a new coupling … as the installed one won’t last much longer.