Steel production is designed as a continuous process, which means that you need components you can rely on.

One example which is historically known to require a lot of maintenance is the pairing of roller conveyor drives with torsionally flexible couplings. 

A maintenance free alternative which can reduce the down-time, and associated loss of production, man hours and productivity, is torsionally stiff disc pack couplings.

In general, flexible couplings used in steel production facilities are divided into two categories: torsionally flexible and torsionally stiff couplings. Torsionally flexible couplings damp vibration and absorb shock. By using elastic materials as compensating elements, unwanted motion is filtered out before being passed on to the downstream components. Special rubber compounds and polyurethane elements are used for this purpose.

High torque presents special challenges.

In the case of dynamic applications it should be noted that, as the torque acting on the coupling increases, the torsional deflection of the coupling increases significantly, often shifting by several degrees.

This means that the angle of rotation will not be transmitted precisely from the driving end to the driven end. Torsionally flexible (elastic) couplings are subject to a certain wear in this respect. Ageing can make plastic or rubber elements more brittle, meaning that relative movement between plastic elements and coupling hubs will results in more significant wear over time. Consequently, regular checks and replacement of the elastic elements to avoid failure is essential. When selecting torsionally flexible couplings, the amount of maintenance required is always an important consideration. If a coupling should become damaged due to maintenance problems, the risk of costly plant downtime is significant.

 Precise compensation, undamped motion.

 The alternative is torsionally stiff couplings, which have a high torsional stiffness. This is either achieved by positive-locking designs with clearances, as in a gear coupling, or by flexible metal elements, as in a disc pack coupling. The torque (usually from 350 to 24,000 Nm) is transmitted by disc packs, which are connected to the hubs by pure friction. This prevents micro-movements in the connection between the screws and the discs, enhancing the stiffness of the entire coupling. As a result, the couplings are subjected to considerably less wear, which significantly reduces the need for maintenance.

Process reliability through disc pack couplings.

 Disc pack couplings have already proven their worth as highly durable industrial couplings in many applications, especially in steel plants.

Mirko Fries from the north-east sales team of coupling specialist R+W Antriebselemente, Klingenberg am Main (Germany), recommends a disc pack coupling from the LP series as an efficient and sophisticated solution, “For example, the LP series can transmit the full torque even in reversing applications, thanks to the frictional connection of the hubs with the disc pack. At the same time, it is completely wear and maintenance free. This means lower costs and effort with greater, more reliable plant availability.”

The LP series is available in sizes with torque capacities ranging from 350 to 24,000 Nm. In this series you have the choice of a single flex or a double flex design. The single flex version can compensate for axial and angular deflection.The double flex version additionally handles lateral (parallel) deflection.

For more details, call our team today or download our product guide, and let one of our experienced Technical Engineers talk through your requirements and the best option to suit your needs.