29 Sep, 2015

There is no doubt that the evolution of gear coupling has been rapid and there is more to come. But, when we are discussing the evolution of something, the first thing we need to get an idea about is the history of a gear coupling. Starting from the general coupling, we had the flexible coupling first and it was used during the time of the invention of the wheel.

These flexible couplings have been known to exist since the time of Sumerians. Well, the wheels date back to 5000 years and the same goes for the flexible couplings. Not only the Sumerians, but there is also ample proof that the flexible couplings were used by the Greeks and Chinese for a long time now. So, while some people may not at all be aware of the flexible couplings which are the general form of coupling, it has existed for a long while.

What was the flexible coupling and how was it used?

The flexible coupling was a simple device made up of two yokes, across and 4 bearings. Invented by Jerome Carden in the 16th century, the simple joint is still being used by many industries with some simple modifications to look forward to. It is touted as the ancestors of the flexible coupling and that can be said without a doubt.

The Carden Joint saw no major development within the time span of 1700 to 1800, but things changed and a lot of development took place from the industrial revolution.

Moving on to other forms of the coupling, we have the diaphragm couplings, this was the theory put forward by Roots who emphasized on the fact that if the flange of the couplings were thin down, then it does not fall down. Now, this theory could not be applied to all the couplings and only rigid couplings would hold everything back together. The advancement led to several other equipments and many manufacturers of the couplings were established between 1900-1930. All the credit for such a long drawn development could happen due to automobile development. After all, couplings of any type are still used in automobiles.

The gear couplings come in the picture

Coming to our point of interest, let us talk about the gear couplings and its evolution. These came in the picture in 1945 in the industrial markets. The technological advancement was happening at a rapid pace and gear couplings were the reason behind it.

Since the industrial and technological advancements were happening, there was a need for the higher horsepower and larger equipment. This was the time which also saw the birth of the fully optimized gear spindle in the steel industry making it one of the most innovative developments of the time.

Slowly and steadily, there was gradual evolution in the gear couplings as high-speed couplings came in the picture. So, the common gear couplings now had added power and speeds.

This traces back the history of the gear couplings and how they have evolved over the years.

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