Bibby Turbo Develops Carbon Fiber Shaft Coupling
Based on its market leading Torsiflex range, Bibby has developed a composite, carbon fiber shaft coupling which has the unique ability to operate over lengths of up to 10 m without central bearings. The Turboflex’s coupling has an inherently low mass and generous misalignment capacity, which does not require routine maintenance. The couplings are suited on equipment such as cooling tower fans, large vertical pumps and marine drives where a long drive shaft is required and maintenance and repair work is costly.
The Turboflex range from Bibby, part of Altra Couplings, uses the latest material technology to provide high strength couplings with a low overall mass. The tubes are filament wound on accurate mandrels using computer controlled machinery, and are cured whilst on the mandrel. This results in highly accurate tube dimensions, roundness and straightness; all of which contribute to a coupling which can offer excellent operational reliability, even in hard wearing applications.
Purpose developed software enables Bibby to offer the couplings with fiber 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 Fiber, Glass Fiber, Carbon/Glass Mix and High Modulus Fiber, all of which provide specific advantages in their relevant operating areas.
The high quality materials and care that goes into the manufacturing means that Turboflex couplings are highly stable, lightweight units which, thanks to their low mass, suffer from minimal vibration even at lengths of 30 m, where metal couplings would require support bearings. This makes them easier and quicker to install, and without the need to lubricate bearings they are essentially maintenance free. The couplings have been shown to work in many applications where traditional couplings have been inappropriate due to vibration - such as high speed engine test beds or ship propulsion systems – or where access is extremely limited - such as cooling tower fans or water and sewage pumping stations which employ deep well pumps.