Industrial gearboxes, motors, couplings, clutches, ball bearings

Common Causes of Coupling Failure  

Couplings are vital for connecting rotating shafts and transferring torque in a wide variety of applications. They can often fail and wear down faster than they should due to various reasons, and here we describe the most common causes of coupling failure and how to avoid it.

Mismatching Coupling and Application

There are numerous factors to consider when choosing which type of coupling to use for an application from your couplings distributor, several of which feature on this list. This first entry is concerned with the application itself, and the various demands it will place on the chosen coupling. Factors to consider during the decision-making process include the amount of torque produced by the application, as well as other conditional factors such as stiffness, inertia and RPM. Also evaluate the shaft mounting and environmental conditions, including any space limitations.

Poorly Evaluated Misalignment Conditions

Poorly evaluated misalignment conditions are a primary cause of coupling failure. All misalignments types should be considered when choosing a coupling from your couplings distributor including angular, parallel and axial, as well as combinations of all three. Should the misalignment be considerable, then speak to your coupling distributor about using flexible couplings instead.

Unaddressed Excessive Misalignment

Even using flexible couplings won’t help you if you allow your application to regularly remain excessively misaligned. Such excessive misalignment will cause the coupling to suffer loads greater than the coupling specifications. This wears down the coupling much faster meaning you will be talking to your couplings distributor again real soon!

Not Factoring Torsional Rigidity Into Coupling Choice

Torsional rigidity or torsional compliance, also known as wind-up, occurs in all types of coupling manufacture. It is the rotational deflection noticeable between the driving shaft and the load, and can be difficult to maintain accuracy of location because of the angular displacement between coupling ends.

Not Factoring in Backlash Into Coupling Choice

Your local coupling distributor will be able to tell you about the importance of factoring in backlash when choosing a coupling. Backlash is the sudden temporary loss of motion in a coupling, such as when torsion moves in one direction causing the coupling to bend or compress under the stress, then the torsion moves in a new direction causing the loss of motion or backlash in the coupling. Backlash can cause misalignment and inaccuracy, but your couplings distributor should be able to recommend zero-backlash couplings if they are necessary for your application.

Neglecting Electrical Isolation

Electrical isolation is another important aspect of correct coupling choice. It means the separation of two mechanical parts which stops any electrical current transferring between them without interfering with the mechanical energy transfer. Your coupling distributor can help you identify which couplings are ideal for electrical isolation, with various models featuring non-metallic or polymer inserts as electric isolation materials.

If you require a particular type of coupling for your application, then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading couplings distributor in Yorkshire. We keep local stocks of all such parts and more ready to ship out fast and free all over the UK and the rest of the world.