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CHAPTER MECHANICAL COUPLINGS 17.0 TABLE OF CONTENTS 17.1 INTRODUCTION 17.1.1 Rigid Shaft Couplings.... 17.1.2 Flexible Shaft Couplings 17.2 FAILURE MODES OF COUPLINGS 17.3 FAILURE RATE MODEL FOR MECHANICAL COUPLING 17.4 UNIVERSAL JOINT 17.5 FAILURE RATE MODEL FOR UNIVERSAL JOINT 17.6 FAILURE RATE OF THE COUPLING HOUSING 17.7 REFERENCES ..1 .3 ..3 ..4 .6 ..8 ..9 ..9 10 17.1 INTRODUCTION A mechanical system often requires an axial connection between two components such as a motor to a pump. The connection is accomplished between the two component shafts with use of a mechanical coupling. The coupling is designed to transmit power (torque) from one shaft to the other, causing both to rotate in unison and at the same RPM. Perfect alignment between the two shafts is almost impossible and the coupling will drift from its initial position to a degree depending on the application. If not compensated, mechanical wear of attached components will increase. Therefore, another purpose of the mechanical coupling is to compensate for minor amounts of misalignment and random movement between the two shafts. Still another common purpose of a coupling is the provision of a break-point between the driving and driven shafts acting as a fuse if a severe torque overload should occur. This inclusion of a safety coupling can protect a serious high-cost equipment failure. Each of these coupling applications results in many unique designs of mechanical couplings depending on torque requirement, rotating speed, expected shaft misalignment, backlash limitations, vibration and other factors unique to the application and operating environment. A typical mechanical coupling is shown in Figure 17.1 There is no one type of coupling that can provide the universal solution to all coupling problems so there are many designs available for specific applications. Each coupling design has strengths and weaknesses that must be taken into consideration Mechanical Couplings ] 7_-| Revision B

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