Traditionally, heavy-duty shaft couplings have had a few defining design characteristics. For one, these couplings usually rely on keyed shaft connections. They also tend to be over-engineered with regard to stiffness.
In many ways, this design approach makes perfect sense. Keyed connections have a long track record and well-understood engineering requirements, making them the default choice in many applications. And stiffness has obvious engineering virtues when it comes to transmitting power with maximum efficiency.
But Are Keyed Connections Really the Best Option?
Keyed connections and excessively rigid coupling designs do have some under-recognized limitations—especially in large industrial, material handling, construction and mining machines. These limitations include reduced torque transmission, alignment difficulties, wear and costly assembly requirements.
In our white paper, we look at a couple of heavy-duty applications that highlight the limitations of traditional coupling designs. One application involves a superior alternative to keyed couplings in a mining conveyor system. The other deals with the pitfalls caused by a direct, rigid connection between the gearbox and cable drum. Both applications have broader relevance to a wide range of large, heavily loaded coupling applications.
By the end of the paper, you’ll learn how to move beyond traditional coupling designs to improve performance and cut costs. Some of the strategies include:
- Heavy-duty shaft coupling applications need extra design attention to maximize performance and working life.
- Keyless couplings offer greater torque transmission than equivalent keyed couplings.
- Overly stiff couplings can cause assembly and wear issues as couplings grow in size.