Function Of Flexible Shaft Coupling | Types Of Coupling

Function Of Flexible Shaft Coupling | Types Of Coupling


A coupling is a device used to connect two shafts together at their ends for the purpose of transmitting power. Couplings do not normally allow disconnection of shafts during operation, however there are torque limiting couplings which can slip or disconnect when some torque limit is exceeded.
           The primary purpose of couplings is to join two pieces of rotating equipment while permitting some degree of misalignment or end movement or both. By careful selection, installation and maintenance of couplings, substantial savings can be made in reduced maintenance costs and downtime.


Flexible couplings are used to transmit torque from one shaft to another when the two shafts are slightly misaligned. Flexible couplings can accommodate varying degrees of misalignment up to 3° and some parallel misalignment. In addition, they can also be used for vibration damping or noise reduction.
The aim of the flexible coupling is to transfer motion between two shafts on the same axis whilst accounting for possible misalignment. 


The two basic functions of flexible coupling are,
  • To transmit power.
  • To accommodate misalignment.
Couplings are used primarily transfer mechanical power from one machine to another so that useful work can be done. To the coupling, the power is in the form of mechanical torque at operating speed, or work per unit of time, so the coupling is being “twisted” as it is spin at some high rpm. Torque is transferred into and out of the coupling at the equipment connection, usually by shaft fits or flange fits.
There are three types of misalignment and which the coupling must accommodate: angular, offset and axial. This is commonly caused by thermal growth of the machine casing and rotors as they change between ambient and operating temperatures.
Angular misalignment is produced when the centre lines of the two equipment shafts the coupling connects are not parallel and they intersect at an angle. Offset misalignment commonly called parallel offset, is when the two shaft centerlines are parallel and they do not intersect, they are offset by some distance. Axial misalignment is caused by changes in the axial position of the shafts which moves the close to each other or further apart.  

Types of   Flexible Coupling: 

The different types of flexible couplings are,
  1. Flanged Pin Bush Couplings
  2. Bibbly Coupling
  3. Gear Tooth Coupling
  4. Tyre couplings
  5. Elastomeric Couplings – This consists of jaw type and S-flex couplings.
  6. Oldham’s Coupling
  7. Universal Coupling or Hooke’s Coupling
  8. Bellows Coupling.
Oldham’s Coupling
Oldham’s Coupling
Flexible coupling are categorized as one of four types. They are 
  • Mechanically flexible
  • Elastomeric
  • Flexible element
  • Miscellaneous
The general operating principles of the four basic categories of couplings are as follows:
Mechanically flexible couplings: in general, these couplings obtain their flexibility from loose fitting parts and /or rolling or sliding of mating parts.
Elastomeric couplings: In general, these couplings obtain their flexibility from stretching or compressing a resilient material. Some sliding or rolling may takes place, but it is usually minimal.
Flexible element couplings: In general, the flexibility of these coupling is obtained from the flexing of thin discs or diaphragms.
Miscellaneous couplings: These couplings obtain their flexibility from a combination of the mechanisms described above or through a unique mechanism. 
Machine Design Notes , article , Interview Que. and Ans.

Sachin Thorat

Sachin is a B-TECH graduate in Mechanical Engineering from a reputed Engineering college. Currently, he is working in the sheet metal industry as a designer. Additionally, he has interested in Product Design, Animation, and Project design. He also likes to write articles related to the mechanical engineering field and tries to motivate other mechanical engineering students by his innovative project ideas, design, models and videos.

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