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Types of couplings

A coupling is used to join two drive shafts mounted end to end.
There are three types of coupling:


Rigid couplings

Rigid couplingsRigid couplings are used to attach two drive shafts in a completely rigid manner as if they had been welded together. In this way, the effective length of the shaft is increased. However errors in alignment cannot be corrected and even risk being amplified. The transmissible torque is very high. Link to product page PDF - Rigid couplings


Flexible couplings

Flexible couplingsFlexible couplings, often called “'precision couplings”, are rigid under torsion, but however allow for the correction of errors in the alignment of the shafts. They are widely used in robotics and automated systems because they are suitable for applications requiring very precise movement. Link to product page PDF - Flexible couplings


Universal joints

Universal joint covers

They are very rigid under torsion but allow for the correction of large angular misalignment errors. Link to product page PDF -


Elastic couplings

rotexElastic couplings correct alignment errors but are not completely rigid under torsion which permits them to support more force in applications where there the transmitted torque is not constant or may be subject to sudden increases/decreases. (For example pumps or generator applications) Link to product page PDF - Elastic couplings





ClutchesClutches provide protection for a system in case of an overload and can be thought of as the equivalent of a fuse in an electrical system. In the majority of applications, it is a self-resetting component and will not require replacing once it has operated. Link to product page PDF - Clutches





  1. Will a protective cover improve the performance of a universal joint?
  2. Can the bore of a Panamech or a bellows coupling be modified?


coupling panamechpanamechcoupling soufflet


1.Will a protective cover improve the performance of a universal joint?

A universal joint will function without protection but does need regular lubrication.


For many applications daily lubrication is recommended. The act of protecting the joint by fitting a cover filled with grease will greatly improve its performance and can increase its life span by up to five times.


Greases such as Alvania EP2 or Mobiplex 46 are ideal for this purpose.


2. Can the bore of a Panamech or a bellows coupling be modified?

HPC has a wide range of Panamech and Bellows precision bored couplings in its range.


If none of these are suitable for your application, we also stock pilot bored Panamech couplings which can be finished to meet your requirement. In the case of a real emergency, it is possible to finish these items yourself. There are however a few precautions to take, especially when dealing with couplings with clamp fittings. Firstly the concentricity of the piece should be verified before machining: a fault in the concentricity could lead to problematic vibrations. When dealing with couplings with clamps, position a spacer in the slit and tighten the clamp so as to machine a perfectly circular bore. You should never try to machine a keyway as this could result in serious damage to the coupling. Note, we are not able to accept the return of a coupling which has been modified by the purchaser.

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