Correctly installing and maintaining couplings should be a high priority for any business reliant on their performance, with couplings suppliers offering a wide variety of products for such applications.
The design of the coupling along with its assembly and alignment, as well as the ongoing maintenance, is vital to maximising a coupling’s performance. This in turn is vital for maximising the performance of the application itself.
Here we explain the best practice for installing and maintaining your couplings so that they last their full service life with optimal performance.
Use the Correct Coupling
A coupling being able to fit on a shaft does not mean it is the correct type of coupling. Couplings serve a variety of purposes which need to be considered when selecting the right coupling for your application.
The transmission of power from the driving shaft to the driven shaft is important, so the coupling must be rated for the right amount of horsepower, torque and starting load, along with other related specs relevant to each application.
In addition, couplings also serve as the ‘weak link’ between the driving and driven shafts, so that it is the element that fails before any damage is caused to the rest of the application. This is why couplings often need replacing via couplings suppliers, and the couplings manufacture process incorporates this aspect of their performance.
If you are struggling to understand exactly what rating or fail threshold a coupling has, then speak to the coupling manufacturer if possible, or couplings suppliers like Yorkshire’s YB Components who will be able to advise.
Coupling Installation Tips
A coupling that feels a little too tight for the shaft should never be forced on. Forcing a coupling on will result in poor axial spacing at best, or a broken coupling hub at worst. Likewise, a coupling that is too loose should not be used either, as this can cause damage to the shaft and overload the key. At the least, a loose coupling can increase vibration and cause premature wear and tear.
Some old advice is to always set keyways 180 degrees apart to help balance the application, although modern machinery is usually properly balanced with keys and key seats cut to the appropriate lengths. It is still a good idea if you are using older machinery, and certainly doesn’t do any harm anyway and can be considered good practice.
The axial spacing of the coupling hubs is also important. When the hubs are installed too close together, it can decrease the flexibility and cause axial overloading on the bearings. If the hubs are installed too far apart, contact between the hub and element becomes minimal, potentially leading to element failure when starting the application. It also increases wear and tear.
Couplings need to be lubricated correctly so check with the original manufacturer or with couplings suppliers to ensure you use the correct type at the correct intervals.
Also make sure to regularly inspect the couplings to check for misalignment, wear and tear, and to ensure they are lubricated sufficiently.
If you require any industrial couplings, then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading couplings suppliers 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.