What is a Pipe Coupling

Pipe Coupling

A pipe coupling is any fitting or device used to join two or more pipes in such a way that continuity is maintained between them. The body of a pipe coupling is typically made of the same or similar materials as those used to construct the pipes it joins. They may be rigid or flexible depending on the amount of movement the pipe is subjected to and may per permanent or removable fixtures. A pipe coupling can be stepped or reduced in internal diameter to accept pipes of different sizes, be T or cross shaped to join more than two pipes, or angled to form bends. Pipe couplings may also include peripheral features or equipment such as inspection openings, flow meters, or valves.

Salient Features:
Some important features of couplings are as follows:

  • Couplings come in all standard pipe sizes and are available for almost all types of pipe.
  • Available in several finishes.
  • Mostly cylindrical in design.
  • Couplings compensate for axial, lateral and angular shaft misalignment.
  • Couplings operate in quiet and smooth way.
  • There is a great degree of torsional stiffness.
  • There is the right angular transmission of angular motion and torque.
  • Usually long life.
  • Easy mounting and dismounting.
  • Low lateral stiffness etc.

Parts of Pipe Coupling as shown below:

Pipe Coupling - What is a Pipe Coupling

Materials Used:

Pipe couplings are made of various materials and the buyers should always consider the material used for making them. Some of the materials used for making couplings are:

  • Brass
  • Aluminum
  • Cast Iron
  • Stainless Steel
  • Copper
  • Bronze etc.
Designs on couplings:
Couplings are available in various shapes and forms. The various designs available on couplings can be as follows:
  • Grid type
  • Gear type
  • Disc type
  • Rubber/Elastomer element type
  • Fluid Couplings

Areas of application for couplings:
Besides being used as an important pipe fitting, couplings are also used in the following:

  • Machine tools
  • Assembly machinery
  • Industrial robots
  • Automated plants
  • Printing machinery
  • Servo drives
  • Robotic axes
  • Manipulators
  • CNC milling / grinding
  • Linear actuators
  • Packaging machinery
  • Woodworking machinery
  • Textile machinery
  • Printing machinery
  • Metal cutting machinery etc.

Buyer’s guide

How to evaluate the couplings?

There is a long list of evaluation factors that affect the type of coupling best suited for an application. It is not necessary that all couplings will have all the features. The factors to be considered are as follows:

  • Design Adaptability
  • Alignment Capabilities
  • Axial Freedom
  • Backlash
  • Chemical Resistance
  • Damping Capacity
  • Ease of Installation
  • Fail Safe or Fusible Link
  • Field Repairable
  • High Speed Capacity
  • Inherent Balance
  • Maintenance Required
  • Number of Component Parts
  • Reciprocating Drivers and Loads
  • Temperature Sensitivity
  • Torque Capacity to Diameter
  • Torque Overload Capacity
  • Torsional Stiffness

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