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Add a little flexibility into your system

Add a little flexibility into your system

The experts at Abssac outline some of the hidden benefits of the helical shaft beam coupling, and in particular the way it can enable a high degree of flexibility in system design.

Most flexible shaft couplings rely on a number of moving parts to enable the transmission of torque through a high angular offset.  The Helical Flexure is an advanced solution that can accommodate up to 90° of angular misalignment whilst simultaneously compensating for axial and parallel shaft misalignments, but delivering all of these advantages from a single piece construction.

One of the greatest advantages of the original helical shaft coupling product is the ease in which it can be adapted from the standard shaft coupling into a cost effective, multi-functional bespoke design, adding some innovative advantages along the way.

Abssac comments that the ability to simply alter the characteristics of coiled beam area within the coupling can affect the torque capability, as well as the angular and parallel misalignment capability. In each case the flexure can be modified to suit specific specifications and or requirements. Abssac refers to the adaptable flexible Heli-Cal element (beam) in the product as the 'flexure' whose characteristics can be applied to both miniature and large rotary applications.

The development of innovative connection solutions from the standard Heli-Cal beam shaft coupling design has opened up a plethora of opportunities to the design engineer over the years. And Abssac comments that the concept has been proven in some of the most demanding applications in engineering. Heli-Cal Beam performance is characterised by key para-meters, inclu-ding flex-ure outside diameter, flexure inside diameter, coil thickness, material, number of coils and number of coil starts. By altering the torque capacity, angular and parallel misalignment capabilities and torsional stiffness rates can be modified to suit specific specifications.

In a rotating system, constant velocity refers to the relative rotational speed of the input and output shafts. In a constant velocity system the driven end of the coupling turns exactly the same rate as the driver end. When operating under a uniform load the helical flexure design provides constant velocity and can alleviate problems such as backlash. Torsional variations can induce differences in hub-to-hub velocity when subjected to dynamic loading and are minimal in steady state applications on the helical flexure.

Concentricity can be an issue when there is a lack of it, particularly in the case of couplings with backlash or where production variation is difficult to prevent. The Helical flexure one piece integrity minimises sinusoidal variations and has zero backlash as well as having a constant spring rate at all points of rotation.
The flexing capacity of the flexure can compensate for a variety of misalignments including parallel, angular, axial and skewed shaft misalignment.

The basic requirement of a flexible coupling is to transmit torque loads without permanent distortion or damage and without imposing undue bending or radial loads upon the driver or driven components. Once the working torque rating of the flexure coupling is established, based on design criteria, its operational life is virtually unlimited.

Every Flexible coupling has some torsional flexibility. Torsional flexibility reflects the amount of twist in a system, and torsional stiffness the degree of resistance against twist. The flexure uniquely can be configured to provide the exact amount of torsional flexibility required in an application. The Helical flexure maintains a very constant radial and bending load at all points of rotation, providing exceptionally uniform and smooth bearing loads.

Once the performance dynamics of the flexure are decided, Abssac says it then looks at the way the shaft coupling attaches in the application as well as how other parts of the total mechanism can be integrated into the single piece shaft coupling design. The hidden potential of expanding how a shaft coupling physically connects within an application, can enhance the overall efficiency of an application.

In many cases, the final shaft coupling design is normally an amalgamation of separate parts that include such items as external gears, splines, threads and tangs. However, most importantly, it enables the design engineer to achieve far greater usage from one item in the total machine which inevitably leads to greater efficiency. How the standard shaft coupling connectability is enhanced is really up to the designer.

Utilising years of experience and flawless production techniques, the single piece construction totally eliminates any form of friction wear within its design, whilst also ensuring a zero-backlash and no torque loss operation.

The high angular shaft offset couplings are manufactured from stainless steel as standard so are ideal for medical, food processing or any clean room environment applications. The designer benefits from a number of advantages which include a choice of materials, the ability to have an infinite choice of end attachments and most importantly a maintenance free product.

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