4 Common Causes of Coupling Failure

Couplings are essential in transferring torque and motion by connecting two shafts. To ensure it performs optimal efficiency, all criteria must be met, including service, use, performance, and environmental factors. 

But if one factor is missed, there is a significant risk of coupling failure. A single loose coupling bolt can result in substantial financial consequences and injury.

Any marine and auto parts manufacturer in Australia will tell you how vital it is to install and maintain your couplings correctly. Below, we listed the four most common causes of premature malfunctioning in couplings:

1. Failure to Fulfill Primary Requirements

As mentioned, selecting a coupling requires you to comply with the necessary criteria individually:

  • Application type
  • Misalignment
  • Torque
  • RPM
  • Stiffness
  • Inertia
  • Shaft mounting
  • Space limitations
  • Environmental and service factors

All these listed must be met to ensure full functionality of the coupling and prevent negative impacts on its lifespan. In addition, each factor must be evaluated repeatedly throughout the application’s life for any changes in conditions.

2. Neglecting to Correct Excess Misalignment

Never underestimate their limits, even when using flexible couplings built for misaligned shafts. Each coupling has a degree of misalignment that, when overlooked, could lead to excess loads beyond its specifications.

Failure to correct excessive misalignment can cause the coupling to deteriorate faster, affecting other components, such as the bearings. 

Before installing the coupling, any misalignment that exceeds the manufacturer’s standards should be corrected using shaft realignment.

3. Exposure to Corrosive Environments

Operating couplings in highly corrosive environments, such as chemical plants and marine conditions, can compromise the integrity of your components. Such places and the presence of contaminants can wear your couplings and eventually lead to failure.

Selecting the correct couplings for specific situations is important to ensure they last. Stainless steel corrosion-resistant couplings offer longer lifespans and can perform efficiently in most environments.

4. Insufficient Lubrication

Lubrication is essential to keep your couplings from sustaining damage from increased friction. While most couplings – like flexible, magnetic, plastic, and solid couplings – do not require lubrication, gear and grid ones do.

Gear and grid couplings must be checked and lubricated at least 1-2 times a year. It would be best to flush couplings periodically to remove contaminants contributing to failure.

Get Couplings in Australia

Are your couplings damaged beyond repair? No worries; it is normal for these components to wear over time, considering their purpose. If you are looking for excellent quality couplings that will serve you for years, we recommend contacting Poly Flex, Australia’s number one manufacturer of various marine and automotive parts such as couplings and engine mounts.