Couplings the Latest Innovations and Setbacks

The industry has become a great demand for new innovative couplings due to the variety of appliances that require them. Couplings are parts that are most often found to connect shafts to transmit power in many essential products. As these vital appliances become larger and larger there is a greater need for customized couplings.Couplings have been incorporated in early appliances from cotton mills to wind mills.  Due to the invention of the steam turbine this has increased the size of power operated machinery therefore increased the size of couplings as well.

"This in turn has greatly increased the demands on shafts and couplings, and in the case of bolted couplings, on the bolts themselves.”

Having the correct coupling is a crucial part to having to maintain shaft bearing alignment.  The alignment in marine applications are a little more lenient when it comes to allowing vibration in result causing much more stress on the bearing. Unlike the marine products, power generation applications are a non-tolerant area of such vibrations. Vibrations in these parts are known to affect the ability of the turbine to reach its full power. To take precaution to avoid the vibrations companies have turned to installing optimizing shaft alignment.

“There is still scope for further analysis and it would be helpful to see exactly how the newer design of bolts with expanding sleeves compare to the older bolts when it comes to transmitting higher torque,” adds Walsh. “Having a full FE analysis could be a significant advantage since it shows the potential for reducing the number of bolts and size of the coupling bearing, particularly in industries such as wind turbines, where they tend to avoid bolted couplings due to space restrictions.”


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