As the name suggests, a shaft coupling allows for the joining of two shafts end to end. There are many different types depending on the application, but they generally fall into two categories: rigid and flexible.
Rigid shaft couplings are usually only available pilot bored, so machining will be necessary to enable them to fit the required shaft diameter. It is also important that the shafts are perfectly aligned. However, a rigid shaft coupling allows for torque limiting as a safety factor. This can be from friction plates that will slip when a certain torque is reached, or shear pins that will break at a certain torque. The advantage of this feature is that, for example, if you have an electric motor driving a conveyor system, and the conveyor jams or otherwise becomes overloaded, when the preset torque is reached the connection between the two shafts will be severed, preventing the motor from damage as well.
Flexible shaft couplings are more common. They offer the advantage of being able to compensate for minor shaft misalignments. There are numerous designs, but the majority feature two hubs (usually metal – one for each shaft) and a cushioning element that fits between them. This element is pliable and it is this that compensates for the misalignment in the shafts, as well as absorbing the backlash from when rotation is started or stopped. The hubs can be pilot-bored, or often they are also available to take a taper lock bush, which lets shafts of different diameters to be coupled together. The most common types of flexible couplings include HRC, Tyre, Beam, and Essex type.
All of our catalogues are available to download in PDF format. To view our catalogues see links to the main Drives, Controllers and Couplings catalogue and main Shaft Coupling sections below.
Drives, Controllers and Couplings
Shaft Coupling Catalogue Sections
Shaft Couplings - Chain Couplings
Shaft Couplings - Tyre Couplings
Shaft Couplings - Jaw Couplings
Shaft Couplings - HRC Couplings
Shaft Couplings - Nylon Sleeve Gear Couplings