By Zak Khan
Frequent engagements and disengagements of mechanical couplings can be detrimental. This is because such operating conditions can cause wear and eventual failure of couplings. The rubbing together of their surfaces causes friction-induced wear. This abrasive operating condition means such setups have inherently limited lifespans.
There are a few workarounds to this abrasive operation. One is making sure to limit the number of engagements and disengagements a coupling experiences. This is best accomplished by optimizing the system’s operation and making sure no unneeded starts and stops are present during operation.
Such operating conditions also require proper lubrication. This includes making sure enough lubrication is present and that it is the proper type required by the coupling. Make sure to read the documentation and use the proper amount and type of lubrication.
Another option is to use contactless magnetic couplings. These use a magnetic field to connect to elements without actually physically touching. This removes the abrasion and wear from contact and allows for smooth engagements and disengagements. This solution works best when magnetic fields are not of concern in a system. Furthermore, magnetic couplings’ torque properties are not identical to traditional couplings, so keep this in mind for engineering calculations.