Shaft couplings are one of the most inexpensive parts of your pump system. Yet, they are one of the most critical elements. Very often, pump owners and operators don’t pay much attention to coupling selection. The result – frequent coupling failures, which in turn reduce pump operation efficiency and increase downtime.
Here, in this post, Sintech Pumps – best pump manufacturers provides the Causes of Coupling Failures and the Ways to Avoid Them.
What is a Coupling?
It’s a device that is used to connect two rotating shafts in your pump system. If you’re experiencing frequent coupling burns and breakages, then it means that there’s a bigger issue with your pump. Coupling failures impact the reliability of your pump dramatically.
If you’re experiencing coupling failures and replace couplings often, then continue reading to identify the underlying causes.
Symptoms of Coupling Failures
A coupling failure presents you with a few warning signs. Being aware of these signs will help you identify and spot coupling failure as soon as it occurs.
If your pump demonstrates these symptoms, then it could indicate coupling failure:
Excessive vibration and/or noise
Increased power consumption
Premature failure of the mechanical seals
Causes of Coupling Failure and Ways to Avoid It
Let’s take a look at the reasons for frequent coupling failures
This is one of the most common causes of a coupling failure. Misaligned pump or motor shafts lead to damage or breakage of the couplings. In fact, several studies state that misalignment is the reason for nearly 70 – 80% of pumps failing.
Generally, couplings are flexible and can handle minor misalignments with no issues. However, like all other mechanical parts, couplings too come with limitations. If the misalignment goes beyond a particular degree, even a flexible coupling will fail.
Make sure to check whether the shaft alignments are within limits specified by the manufacturer. If the shaft alignment goes beyond the manufacturer recommended levels, then make sure to do a laser alignment, before installing a new coupling.
Some of the common types of misalignment of pump motor shafts include:
Just like alignments, all couplings have a torque limit. Torque failures account for 10-15% of all coupling failures. By miscalculating torque, you not only burn through couplings but could also end up damaging your pump systems.
Too much torque at low-speed damages couplings. Make sure to consider both the steady state torque and instantaneous torque, while selecting couplings.
Incorrect coupling selection
Unfortunately, most pump operators fail to prioritize shaft coupling selection while assembling a pump. In fact, it’s one of the most underappreciated and overlooked features of a pump. Incorrect coupling happens when you choose the wrong type of couplings or choosing couplings late in the application design process.
A simple way to overcome this issue is by integrating coupling selection during the early stages of the pump assembly. If done, this could help you choose the right type of coupling based on requirement as well as aspect.
This way, you can choose the right coupling size that suits the specific application requirements. If in the case, the application changes in the future, you have to revise coupling specifications.
This is a rare cause of coupling failure. Exposure to harmful chemicals, excessively cold or warm temperatures, thermal expansion may negatively affect the life of your coupling. While these cases aren’t common, there are chances of them occurring.
Couplings made out of plastic, flexible rubber or magnetic metals don’t require lubrication. On the other hand, other types of couplings like grid and gear require lubrication. The lubrication levels of couplings must be checked at least once or twice every year. Make sure to flush out any contaminants from the lubricants to avoid premature failure of couplings.
Final Thoughts – Coupling Failures can Impact Safety
Make sure that your couplings are in perfect condition to avoid safety issues. When it comes to pump systems, proactive maintenance is vital. Ensure that you monitor your couplings regularly. If it requires lubrication or flushing, make sure to do it according to the schedule. Also, ensure that you select the right couplings for your pumps. This not only helps to increase the efficiency of your pumps but also improves reliability and uptime.
Want to increase the reliability of your pump systems? Check out our diverse range of industrial pumps to find the best one that suits your needs.
Talk to our pump specialists here at Sintech, to help you choose the right pumps that suit your specific application. We are one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of industrial pumps in India and overseas.