Flexible couplings are used in a variety of motion-control applications, from aviation and lab equipment to robotics and medical devices. A common industrial application arises when a motor is connected to a pump. Factory automation equipment and other machine tools rely on flexible couplings to transmit power from a motor source. Two types of flexible coupling are bellow couplings and jaw couplings.
Bellow couplings are made of a thin-walled, flexible metal corrugation that is connected between two clamping hubs. They are designed to create a low inertia zero-backlash coupling which will last a long time without maintenance. Bellow couplings can accommodate all forms of misalignment and have a balanced design for reduced vibration at high speeds. They are best suited for applications where precise positioning is required, such as in material handling or general automation and assembly.
Jaw couplings are used within electrical motor and internal combustion systems to transmit power. They are designed to connect two shafts, enabling smooth torque transmission and reducing the loss of power. Jaw couplings work by preventing shock loading (the sudden and drastic increase of load in a system) and/or accommodating shaft misalignment where this has been caused by thermal expansion or manufacturing inefficiencies.