Composite Disc Coupling

Basic info
The Composite Disc Coupling is a new kind of constant velocity joint with characteristics originally targeted towards automotive propeller shaft applications where it offers exceptionally high efficiency and suitability for high speed / small angle applications. 

Flexible couplings are widely used in all kinds of power transmission applications where some kind of motor or driver has to be connected to some kind of load.  It rarely makes sense to mount an entire system on a common shaft; instead it is normal to mount each self-contained device (eg motor, gearbox, fan, pump, etc.) onto a common frame.  This introduces all kinds of misalignment possibilities which depend partly on build tolerances, but which also depend on the stiffness of the structure and the stiffness of the mounts used.  It is therefore essential to link the devices using shafts equipped with flexible couplings, so that the various types of misalignment (both as installed, and movement during operation) can be accommodated:

Axial misalignment – or tolerance in the coupling installed length.

Angular misalignment – the angle between the axis of the shaft and the axis of the machine that it’s connected to.

Offset misalignment –  this is usually resolved into additional angular misalignment in the coupling at each end of the shaft.

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The Composite Disc - A new joint for High Power Driveshafts

The Composite Disc Coupling has a novel and complex structure of glass fibre in an epoxy matrix, with the orientations of the glass fibre reinforcement layers controlled to give the desired combination of torsional, axial and radial stiffness.  Use of glass fibre in this way gives a fundamental theoretical advantage over other materials used in disc couplings, which is reflected in an improved operating torque / installed angle capability.
The composite disc has been introduced for specialized commercial applications and several thousand have been produced and sold to date.  These have mostly been used in Motorsport and Wind turbine driveshaft applications, but the range of applications is now increasing quickly because of the unique combination of strengths this coupling has.
How many of these are important for your application?

Exceptional Operating Efficiency - Joints run Cool
Very Low Weight – Low Inertia – No Backlash
Heat, Humidity, Ozone, Oil – No Problem
Non-conductive, Non-magnetic, Radar transparent
No Lubrication – No Wear – Maintenance Free
Excellent Torsional Fatigue resistance
Tolerates High Misalignment Angles
Durability Prediction from a Mathematical Model
Centring Accuracy – Suitable for High Speeds
Low Axial Stiffness – Even with High Torque applied

The glass fibre composite used for the discs is tolerant of many typical aggressive environments, eg. Oil, ozone, sea water etc..  The composite has a particularly high glass transition temperature (above 180°C), so operating temperatures up to 100°C are acceptable and excursions above can be permitted.
The Composite Disc Coupling has an overall performance that stands head and shoulders above the alternatives, has comprehensive patent protection and is produced exclusively by Spinning-Composites.
The groundbreaking success was recognized by the Design Council in the UK, who selected the Composite Disc Coupling as a ‘Millennium Product’.  This is a UK Government backed initiative to reward innovative products that are pioneering in their fields and challenge existing conventions.