A jaw coupling is a type of coupling designed to transmit torque while damping system vibrations, which protects other components from damage. Jaw couplings are considered the most popular couplings utilized in industry for relatively small shaft sizes. Jaw couplings are composed of three parts: two metallic hubs and a insert, which is referred to as a "spider." The three parts press fit together with a jaw from each hub fitted alternately with the lobes of the spider. The curved jaws of the hubs reduce deformation of the spider to maintain the zero backlash fit. It is important to note that most manufacturers sell the components of a jaw coupling separately. Most applications will require the hubs to have different bore sizes, as the shafts are unlikely to be the same size.
The spider (or jaw coupling insert) can be made of various materials or durometers, which allows the user to customize the coupling so that it absorbs more or less vibration. The more damping ability the jaw coupling has, the less torsion strength it possesses. Jaw couplings are best suited for applications that rely on a stop-and-go type of movement. The jaw coupling is less suited for applications that rely on a constant scanning type of motion, where accuracy is required during movement, which requires a torsionally stronger coupling.
The drawback of the jaw coupling is the lack of misalignment capability. Too much axial motion will cause the coupling to come apart, while too much angular or parallel misalignment will result in bearing loads that are higher than most other motion control couplings. Jaw couplings are also considered fail-safe. If the spider fails, the jaws of the two hubs will mate, much like teeth on two gears, and continue to transmit torque. This may or may not be desirable to the user depending on the application. Jaw couplings are well balanced and able to tolerate high RPM. With its damping capability and interchangeable spiders, jaw couplings make a great solution for shock absorption.
Here is a list of Manufacturers / Brands that we represent:
- Martin Sprocket and Gear
- Regal PTS (Browning)
- Altra Motion (Boston Gear, TB Woods)
- American Metric