By Sina Odenwald
A coupling connects – simply put, a coupling is nothing other than a connection between two shafts. But shaft couplings can do more:
· They transmit torque
· They compensate for axial, lateral and angular shaft misalignment
· They damp vibration
· They also protect expensive equipment from overload
This is explained once again in a video by Kai Kupplung
Exact torque transmission
R+W Antriebselemente GmbH advises users of precision and industrial couplings on suitable types of couplings for each application. The amount of torque to be transmitted plays a major role here. Metal bellows couplings typically transmit within a range of 0.05 to 10,000 Newton meters, though larger sizes also exist. Elastomer couplings, for example, usually work from 2 to 25,000 Nm.
Characteristics of couplings
The basic characteristics of a coupling type should serve as a deciding factor when choosing a coupling for a specific application. R+W metal bellows couplings (BKs) are torsionally rigid. In other words, their basic design and materials of construction make them resistant to twisting deformation. BKs are suitable for highly dynamic servo axes in machine tools, woodworking machines, packaging machines, automation systems, printing machines, sheet metal processing machines and gear cutting machines. Elastomer couplings, by contrast, are two-piece designs, which are vibration damping and electrically isolating. The compensating element of the coupling is the elastomer insert, and its material and Shore hardness play a decisive role here. The inserts can optimize vibration levels and are available in Shore hardness values of 98 Sh A, 64 Sh D, 80 Sh A, and 65 Sh D. Products with the R+W series names EK (elastomer couplings), SP (elastomer couplings for high-speed spindle applications) and TX (elastomer couplings made of high-performance plastic with keyway connection) are used in servo drive technology, machine tools, packaging machines, automation systems, printing machines, control and positioning technology, general mechanical engineering, pumps and agitators, and roller shutter drives. What’s more, all the couplings from R+W are maintenance free and last their entire service life when used in accordance with the technical recommendations.
Couplings with safety function
With the ability to disconnect driving and driven shafts quickly and reliably when overloaded, mechanical safety couplings make an important contribution towards increasing process safety, while also offering impressively simple handling. The classic series (SK/ES) is suitable for torques between 0.1 and 2,800 Nm. The various models in the series are available for direct or indirect drives, and are available for connection via clamping hubs, conical clamping rings, and simple keyways. Direct drive versions are available with torsionally rigid metal bellows couplings and vibration damping elastomer couplings. Depending on the requirements, the series is also available in different operating modes: with single position automatic re-engagement, with multi-position automatic-re-engagement, with a fully releasing function, or in a load holding version. Keeping up with constantly changing market demands, for example, the need for lower inertia, higher operating speeds, and more efficient processes, R+W also offers lightweight safety couplings (SL series), whose high torque density is especially noteworthy. The SL series is likewise available in different operating modes and various versions for use in direct or indirect drives.
Mechanical engineering is multifaceted, as are its applications. Each application is unique and demands flawless machine design. Individual components in the plant therefore should be optimally selected for it. In the area of couplings, R+W offers free consultation by technical sales and the company’s own design and construction department.