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What is a Coupling?

A coupling, as we all know , is an element in a power transmission system, that connects a drive such as an electric motor or an engine, to a driven machine such as a conveyor,an excavator, etc. for transmitting torque and speed ie., power.

Classification of Couplings
Couplings can be broadly classified as follows. 1) Rigid Couplings 2) Flexible Couplings 3) Hydrodynamic or Fluid Couplings A simple Rigid coupling can be a Flange coupling connecting a motor flange to a driven machine flange with the help of bolts and nuts. A Flexible coupling on the other hand can be a Universal coupling or more popularly known as a cardan shaft.

What then is a Hydrodynamic or Fluid or Turbo Coupling ?

What is a Hydrodynamic or Fluid or Turbo Coupling? A Hydrodynamic Coupling is a coupling which transmits power. It is essentially a combination of a Hydraulic Pump and a Hydraulic Turbine. . By eliminating all avoidable sources of loss such as draft tubes. making use of Fluid Power. spiral casing and the piping itself. which contains operating fluid. Basic Principle of operation A centrifugal pump and a Francis turbine with guide vanes are connected by piping and an oil reservoir. The pump absorbs the mechanical energy supplied by motor or engine and produces kinetic energy which is absorbed by turbine and in turn converted back into mechanical energy. a compact Hydrodynamic Coupling results.

driven machine and goods handled in case of overload or stall because of limitaion on maximum torque that can be transmitted.. • Simple control of maximum torque by altering the filling. • Explosion-proof design is possible. • Load balance in the case of multi motor drives. load vibrations and torsional vibrations.Advantages of Hydrodynamic couplings • Smooth acceleration of the heaviest masses with an inexpensive squirrel cage motor. . quick reduction of the starting current. • Safe protection for motor. • Very high efficiency due to low slip at rated duty. • Torque limitation at starting (important eg. no metal-metal contact between transmitting elements. • Wear-free power transmission. at belt conveyor plant) • Effective cushioning of shocks. • Non-stressed motor start-up even when the machine is loaded or has stalled. individual motors can be started one after another thus avoiding the need for simultaneous switching arrangement.

allowing oil to escape out.  It enables a quick start-up without high initial starting currents.. .Salient features of a Hydrodynamic Coupling  A Hydrodynamic coupling when used in combination with a simple. torque transmitted increases with square of the input speed and power transmitted increases with cube of input speed. finds a wide field of applications. inexpensive and almost maintenance –free squirrel cage motors. This can be done by incorporating Fusible plugs in which the solder melts at high temperature. then an element can be fitted which senses temperature and at excess temperature (which is normally set below the melting temperature of solder) an actuator moves to cut-off the Power supply. If oil escape is undesirable.  Hydrodynamic couplings can be designed to be protected against excessive temperature rise .  The coupling behaves according to the Propeller Law ie.

Major Applications of Hydrodynamic couplings Material Handling and Conveying ♦ Belt conveyors ♦ Bridge cranes ♦ Port loading plants Mining ♦ Chain and armored conveyors ♦ Bucket wheel excavators ♦ Crushers. Cranes Balancing machines Ship building . Mixers Compressors Mechanical Engineering ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Textile Machines Wire drawing machines Extruders Machine tools Fans. Fans Chemical Industry ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Centrifuges Fans/Blowers Stirrers . Pumps.

. motors are often fitted to a single drive for technical and availability reasons.3% from the nominal transmission ratio. 3. With such drive arrangements. 1. 4. it is impossible to avoid constraining forces arising in the drive. Different motor characteristics in the various motors This is due to different characteristics of squirrel cage induction motors manufactured by different manufacturers. Different drive pulley diameters This can be due to manufacturing tolerances or due to wear. if there is a rigid connection between the motor and the gear unit. Even if it is the single manufacturer. Different Gear transmission ratios Different makes of gear units can vary by +/. These constraining forces and the resulting varying loads of the electric motors in multi-motor drives arise as a result of the following reasons. 2. characteristics vary because of manufacturing tolerances. Loads that differ between the various drive stations Various motors are subjected to different loads by the machine.♦ Marine propulsion Why Fluid couplings ? Problems with rigid coupling On a variety of machines such as Mixers. tube mills and particularly Beltconveyor drives.

. the difference in torques transmitted by two motors with different gear transmission ratios .1 .What’s the solution? In multi-motor drives. slip of each coupling can be so adjusted that both motors deliver a similar torque i. • By varying the filling in each coupling. 2. • The load can be evenly shared between the various motors. MTC Now by adapting the oil filling. then • the motors are no more connected to one another by positive connection by way of the conveyor belt. we can see that the difference between the torques transmitted. if we install a Hydrodynamic coupling. With rigid connection. Different gear transmission ratios This can be explained using Fig. by adjusting the oil fillings both motors can be loaded equally in spite of their different speeds. when a Hydrodynamic coupling is installed ie.. 1. in case of Direct coupled drive Mrigid is substantially higher than the torque difference when the drive is connected with Hydrodynamic coupling. MTC .2. Different motor characteristics in the various motors By referring Fig.e. P5 and P6 Hence. each motor can be run at a speed that all motors share the load uniformly. Mrigid is considerably higher than.

They intersect the motor curves at the required differing operating points and thus. The n 2 speed curves differ in slope.3. the required different loads(Point P2 and P3) can be achieved. also applies to different pulley diameters. Different drive pulley diameters Different Pulley diameters have a similar effect as different gear transmission ratios and the explanation which applies to different gear transmission ratios. in spite of different loads. Loads that differ between the various drive stations Refer Fig. In case of Hydrodynamic coupling. . the motors are forced to run at the same speed (point P1) and thus to deliver similar torques though the loads (Mload1 and Mload2) differ. The result is stresses in the coupling elements.3 In case of rigid couplings. Here again. internal constraining forces within the system are avoided. by varying the oil fillings. 4. adjusting the fillings of the couplings makes it possible to equalize the motor loads.

Conclusion We have had an introduction to Hydrodynamic Coupling which is definitely a better alternative to Rigid couplings in terms of adjustability to different speeds. However. for different motor characteristics or gear transmission ratios. load sharing is kept within narrow limits. . however . load sharing can be achieved with the installation of fluid couplings for any speed and thus for any torque within the operating range of the plant. different load conditions and ultimately different torque requirements. In practice . to keep the efficiency of the drive systems high. attention must be drawn to the fact that in theory.

Properties of Recommended mineral oil Viscosity at 40 degC Air release property at 50 degC Viscosity Index Pour point Flash point : : : : : 29-33 5 minutes 100 -21 degC 200 degC .


Calculation of important parameters 9. Conclusion . Assembly of Fluid coupling 4. Advantages of Fluid coupling 7.What’s Inside. 1. Major applications 8. Properties of recommended oil 5.. Why Fluid couplings? 6.. Salient features of Fluid coupling 3. What is a Fluid coupling? 2.