A fluid coupling or hydraulic coupling is a hydrodynamic or ‘hydrokinetic’ device used to transmit rotating mechanical power.
It has been used in automobiletransmissions as an alternative to a mechanical clutch. It also has widespread application in marine and industrial machine drives, where variable speed operation and controlled start-up without shock loading of the power transmission system is essential.
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Our leading products are mechanical transmission basic parts – couplings, mainly including universal couplings, drum gear couplings, elastic couplings and other 3 categories of more than 30 series of varieties. It is widely used in metallurgical steel rolling, wind power, hydropower, mining, engineering machinery, petrochemical, lifting, paper making, rubber, rail transit, shipbuilding and marine engineering and other industries.
Our factory takes the basic parts of national standards as the benchmark, has more than 40 years of coupling production experience, takes “scientific management, pioneering and innovation, ensuring quality and customer satisfaction” as the quality policy, and aims to continuously provide users with satisfactory products and services. The production is guided by reasonable process, and the ISO9001:2015 quality management system standard is strictly implemented. We adhere to the principle of continuous improvement and innovation of coupling products. In recent years, it has successfully developed 10 national patent products such as SWF cross shaft universal coupling, among which the double cross shaft universal joint has won the national invention patent, SWF cross shaft universal coupling has won the new product award of China’s general mechanical parts coupling industry and the ZHangZhoug Province new product science and technology project.
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Impact of Fluid Coupling on the Overall Reliability of a Power Transmission System
A fluid coupling can significantly contribute to the overall reliability of a power transmission system in various ways:
- Smooth Power Transmission: Fluid couplings facilitate smooth power transmission between the driving and driven components, minimizing shocks and vibrations during startup and operation. This reduces the risk of sudden failures or damages to connected equipment.
- Overload Protection: Fluid couplings offer inherent overload protection by allowing controlled slip during sudden load changes or overloads. This protects the system from excessive stresses and prevents damage to the motor and driven machinery.
- Reduced Mechanical Wear: The smooth operation of fluid couplings reduces mechanical wear on connected components, such as gearboxes, belts, and chains. This results in longer service life and decreased maintenance requirements.
- Increased Equipment Life: By reducing stress and wear on the entire power transmission system, fluid couplings can extend the service life of motors, gearboxes, and other components. This enhances the overall reliability of the system over an extended period.
- Enhanced System Safety: The ability of fluid couplings to protect against shock loads and overloads enhances the safety of personnel working with or near the machinery. It prevents sudden and unpredictable movements, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.
- Stable Performance: Fluid couplings maintain a constant speed ratio between the driving and driven shafts, ensuring stable and predictable performance of the power transmission system. This predictability aids in maintaining process stability and efficiency.
Incorporating a properly sized and selected fluid coupling into a power transmission system can improve its reliability, reduce downtime, and prevent costly breakdowns. Regular maintenance and monitoring of the fluid coupling also play a crucial role in ensuring long-term reliability and trouble-free operation.
Fluid Couplings in Hydraulic Drive Systems
Yes, fluid couplings can be used in hydraulic drive systems to transmit power and control the speed of driven components. In hydraulic drive systems, fluid couplings act as a torque converter, providing a smooth and gradual transfer of power between the input and output shafts.
The basic principle of a fluid coupling remains the same whether it is used in a mechanical drive system or a hydraulic drive system. The fluid coupling consists of an input impeller connected to the prime mover (such as an electric motor or an engine) and an output runner connected to the driven component.
When the prime mover is activated, it drives the input impeller, creating a flow of hydraulic fluid within the coupling. This fluid flow creates a hydrodynamic torque that is transferred to the output runner, driving the connected component. The fluid coupling allows for a controlled slip between the input and output, allowing the driven component to start smoothly and gradually reach its desired speed.
In hydraulic drive systems, fluid couplings offer several advantages:
- Smooth Torque Transmission: Fluid couplings provide smooth torque transmission, reducing shocks and vibrations in the system.
- Overload Protection: Fluid couplings can protect the drive system from overloads by allowing some slip in the event of sudden changes in load or jamming of the driven component.
- Speed Control: By controlling the flow of hydraulic fluid, the speed of the driven component can be precisely regulated.
- Energy Efficiency: Fluid couplings can help improve energy efficiency by reducing mechanical losses and optimizing power transmission.
Hydraulic drive systems with fluid couplings are commonly used in various industrial applications, including conveyor systems, mining equipment, marine propulsion, and more. They offer reliable and efficient power transmission while protecting the machinery from excessive loads and shocks.
It’s essential to consider the specific requirements of the hydraulic drive system and the characteristics of the fluid coupling to ensure optimal performance and efficiency in the application.
Comparison: Fluid Coupling vs. Torque Converter
Fluid couplings and torque converters are both hydrodynamic devices used in automotive and industrial applications to transmit power between an engine and a driven load. While they share some similarities, they also have distinct differences:
- Function: The primary function of both fluid couplings and torque converters is to transmit rotational power from the engine to the transmission or driven load. They allow for smooth power transmission and provide a degree of isolation between the engine and the load.
- Construction: Both devices consist of an impeller, a turbine, and a housing filled with hydraulic fluid (usually oil). The impeller is connected to the engine’s crankshaft, the turbine to the transmission/input shaft, and the housing is shared between the two.
- Torque Transmission: In a fluid coupling, the power is transmitted purely through hydrodynamic principles. The impeller accelerates the fluid, which then drives the turbine. However, there is no torque multiplication, and the output speed is always slightly less than the input speed. On the other hand, a torque converter can provide torque multiplication due to its stator, which redirects the fluid flow and increases the torque transmitted to the turbine.
- Lock-up Clutch: Some torque converters have a lock-up clutch that can mechanically connect the impeller and the turbine at higher speeds. This effectively eliminates the slip between the two elements and increases overall efficiency, similar to the operation of a fluid coupling at higher speeds.
- Automotive Use: Torque converters are commonly used in automatic transmissions in vehicles, while fluid couplings were more prevalent in older manual transmissions. However, modern manual transmissions generally use clutch systems instead of fluid couplings.
- Efficiency: Fluid couplings are generally more efficient than torque converters, especially at higher speeds. Torque converters can experience efficiency losses due to fluid slippage and the operation of the stator.
- Applications: Fluid couplings find applications in various industrial machinery, such as conveyors, pumps, and crushers, where the priority is smooth power transmission and overload protection. Torque converters are primarily used in vehicles, offering the benefit of automatic gear shifting and torque multiplication during acceleration.
Overall, both fluid couplings and torque converters play essential roles in power transmission, but their specific design and application characteristics determine their suitability for different use cases.
editor by CX 2023-09-07