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Bellows and Helix make the perfect coupling

Supplier: Fabrication Equipment Supplies
19 February, 2010

In the simplest of terms, a coupling's purpose is to transfer rotational movement from one shaft to another.

The primary purpose of a coupling is to join two pieces of rotating equipment while permitting some degree of misalignment or end movement or both.

Shaft coupling are used in machinery for several reasons and the most common of which is to provide a means of connecting two separately manufactured devices such as a motor and encoder, provide compensation for misalignment, enable easy disconnection for repairs or alterations and provide a reduction of shock loads form one shaft to another.

Several factors should always be taken into consideration when looking to specify fexible shaft couplings. These are torsional stiffness, backlash, torque, and attachment style.

Bellows couplings generally have high torsional stiffness and may be used in any drive system where high levels of motion integrity are essential as they are backlash free and capable of speeds up to 10000Rpm. This coupling also offers vibration damping, radial offsets, axial offsets and angular offsets.

They are manufactured from either stainless steel or wrought copper with nickel plating. Either material option is available from TEA Transmissions, with set screw or clamp fanged ends attachment style options.

Helix or beam couplings are manufactured as one piece therefore achieving its fexibility in all three modes; angular, radial and axial, by means of a slot or slots machined through the wall of the material.

The slots are machined helically around the circumference of the coupling and can have one, two or three starts to increase the torsional stiffness while providing backlash free operation. These couplings are capable of speed up to 8000Rpm.

They are manufactured from aluminium, stainless steel or nylon. Attachment styles available are either set screw or clamp. Typical applications for both bellows and helix couplings include encoder drives in closed-loop servo systems.

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