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Rigid or Flexible Couplings?


Couplings are a crucial component of many industrial machines, joining together two shafts so one may transmit power to the other. They are usually incorporated into the drive-train alongside other important components in the power transmission process such as ball screws, gearboxes and belts.

Rigid and Flexible Coupling Manufacture

There are two types of couplings, a rigid type and a flexible type, so knowing which one you need before contacting coupling suppliers can save time.

Rigid couplings will more often be used in industrial machinery applications that require very precise alignment. Flexible couplings on the other hand are often used in applications where a little misalignment between the shafts is acceptable, perhaps even necessary for some functions.

Flexible couplings allow the power transmission between the drive shaft and the driven shaft to continue even when slightly misaligned, enabling the operation to continue assuming there is no damage being caused by the misalignment.

Misalignment Problems During Power Transmission

There are different kinds of misalignments that can occur during power transmission between two shafts, namely lateral, axial, angular or completely skewed misalignment. Misalignment can cause premature wear and tear and even completely break one or both of the shafts. It can also cause bearings to fail and make the machinery vibrate causing additional damage to other components.

Depending on how great the misalignment is, the efficiency of the motor with regards to generating speed and torque can be heavily affected. That’s where flexible couplings can help maintain an optimum performance rather than necessitating the need to shut down the machine and realign the shafts.

Flexible couplings are usually a very adaptable component in mechanical motion systems. They ensure torsional stiffness is maintained and thus continue providing the machine operator positional control over the load.

Couplings Suppliers and Manufacturers

Flexible couplings supplier, Yorkshire-based YB Components, supply many different types of couplings from a wide variety of quality manufacturers from all over the world.

The range includes couplings by Desch, who have designed the excellent Hadeflex claw couplings which feature flexible elements to provide a torsional flexible connection for two shafts. They also make the Orpex couplings which function as self-aligning clutches to ensure absolutely reliable torque transmission, especially useful with heavy drives.

Kauermann Couplings are high quality German-engineered products which include the highly sought after Kado and Schnallen couplings. Other options in the Kauermann coupling range include Luftreifen, Kegelflex, Kasi and Flexan couplings.

Another leading German coupling manufacturer is KWD Couplings and Clutches, a company that can boast of a lengthy engineering tradition that dates back to the industrial revolution. They produce the Hydrodynamic coupling that can operate within a power range reaching up to 1000 kW. They also build non-positive locking clutches and brakes and multiple disc friction clutches that can be used in hydraulic and pneumatic applications as well as mechanical.

If you require any rigid or flexible couplings, then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading couplings distributors who keep local stocks ready to ship fast and free all over the UK and the rest of the world.