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Shaft couplings now available in carbon fibre


Bibby, an Altra Industrial Motion company, has developed composite, carbon-fibre versions of its market-leading Torsiflex shaft couplings for use on equipment such as cooling tower fans, large vertical pumps, marine drives, high-speed test beds and performance car engine dynamometers. The ability of the composite couplings to operate over long lengths - up to 30m in one application or at least 10m without central bearings - combined with their inherently low mass and generous misalignment capacity keeps maintenance of the equipment to a minimum.

Bibby's composite tube disc couplings have been designed using the latest material technology to give low mass and high strength. The couplings are highly stable, lightweight units that are suitable for operating over longer lengths than equivalent all-metal couplings. They are also said to be easier to install, do not require support bearings or lubrication, and are essentially maintenance-free.

The ability of the Bibby composite tube disc couplings to span long distances without the need for central bearings and their inherent low mass can considerably reduce maintenance costs on equipment on which the couplings are installed. This feature is particularly advantageous on cooling tower fan drives, and in remote operated or inaccessible plants such as water and sewage pumping stations employing deep well pumps.

Other applications for which the composite couplings' characteristics are attractive include high-speed engine test beds and ship and hovercraft propulsion systems.

The composite Turboflex tubes are filament-wound on accurate mandrels using computer-controlled machinery; they are cured while on the mandrel. This results in high accuracy for the tube dimensions, roundness and straightness, all of which contributes to an extremely high-quality product that can deliver excellent operating reliability. Purpose-developed software enables Bibby Turboflex to offer tubes with fibre windings at angles adjusted to give the optimum performance for specific lateral critical, torque and torsional stiffness requirements. In addition, Bibby offers the option to wind tubes using a variety of fibres: carbon fibre, glass fibre, carbon/glass mix and high modulus fibre to provide specific advantages in their relevant operating areas.