A jaw coupling is a common industrial power transmission device, often found in many applications as a general, all-purpose component. Operating with ease across a wide range of temperatures, jaw couplings may handle angular misalignment, resist damage from chemicals, exhibit high damping and speed capabilities, and much more. To help you better understand the design and functionality of jaw couplings, we will provide a brief overview of such components and their variations.
In their most simplistic form, a jaw coupling may be constructed from three parts. These parts are two hubs that are often bored to establish a clearance fit tolerance and an elastomeric insert. While the insert is specifically designed with a long service life, they will eventually begin to fail over time and require replacement. In the instance that an insert fails, the coupling is specifically designed with a fail-safe. As failure occurs, the hubs will quickly interlock so that the load may continue to be carried, though dampening will be lost. At this time, the system should be shut down, allowing for all affected pieces to be replaced. As the hubs will become worn when the fail-safe is activated, they will require replacement as well.
One major benefit of jaw couplings is their capability to operate without lubrication. While other couplings such as gear, grid, and chain coupling components require regular reapplication of greases, the jaw coupling will optimally perform as long as their insert remains undamaged and functional. Depending on one’s particular needs, jaw coupling inserts may be procured in multiple variations, each of which differ from one another in terms of construction and characteristics. Standard inserts may be constructed from solid Nitrile Butadiene rubber, allowing for oil resistance, resilience, and elasticity. Coupled with their operating temperature range of -40° to 212°F, such components regularly find use for cyclic loads.
As a variation of the Nitrile Butadiene rubber insert, open center options differ in the lack of a closed center. Despite having a less robust design and being less suitable for high speed applications, the lack of a center benefits applications where shaft ends are tightly placed together. As such, assemblies where there is no room for a center insert section may still benefit from such components.
In some instances, the insert may be wrapped around the coupling’s body, and a retaining ring is then implemented to hold the assembly in place. As compared to other variations, the wrapped type permits rapid insert replacements as the hubs do not need to be slid or moved along the shaft. Despite this ease of maintenance, such variations can only operate at lower RPM speeds.
Alongside such insert types, other variations may be procured such as Hytrel inserts, bronze inserts, and curved jaw couplings. Often, the insert will be limited in terms of operating temperature, and some applications may require special hubs. When you find yourself in need of a jaw coupling for motion control applications, setscrew aircraft assemblies, or other various systems, look no further than ASAP 360 Unlimited.
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