In the mining sector, an effective grid coupling needs to stand up to earth-shattering vibrations, while at the same time, lending some flexibility to an application.
“A heavy shock load can devastate a coupling arrangement even on the most robust equipment, which is why Rexnord developed the Falk Steelflex T-design range,” says Steve Hittmann, BSC’s National Product Manager for Mechanical Drive Systems & Belt Drives. “The aim with this product was to surpass competitors in performance and durability under high-impact conditions.”
“In mining and quarrying, grid couplings will generally be used in the crushing, grinding, and agitating of material,” explains Steve. “They are also used in pump, conveyor, dragline, and high-speed gearbox applications, where they are really about the protection of the driven unit through their ability to absorb massive amounts of vibrations,” he adds.
“Third party testing found that Falk Steelflex grid couplings are 4.7x more durable than a leading competitor’s grid coupling and 16x more durable than other brands,” furthers Steve. “Even though many grid couplings appear similar, a huge gap in performance remains between brands,” he emphasises.
The technology was originally used in the production of aircraft components that carry heavy loads and deflect high vibrations in air. According to Steve, the key is torsional ability.
“The Steelflex Grid Couplings employ torsion to deflect normal shock or vibratory loads, making them durable and flexible to changing load conditions,” says Steve.
“In addition to this, Steelflex tunes the drive system. It absorbs the energy of impact by spreading it over increments of time, dampening the vibrations and reducing peak loads by as much as 30%,” he adds.
The Falk Steelflex T10 Grid couplings are fabricated from steel for maximum strength; machined to within 0.001 inches, permitting utilisation of any hub surface for measurement of shaft alignment.
“The tapered grids are made of high strength alloy steel, quenched, and tempered to spring hardness,” explains Steve. “The grid surface is then precision shot peened to compress the surface molecules for increased strength.”
“The effect is a dramatic increase in rating, providing reserve strength for longer life or allowing a smaller size coupling to be selected,” he enthuses.
When lubricated with Rexnord Falk Long Term Grease, (LTG) the Falk Steelflex coupling is then warranted for 5 years and does not require re-lubrication for the 5 year duration.
“Falk LTG grease was developed specifically for couplings. It resists the separation of the oil and thickening agent that occurs in typical greases,” says Steve.
“Initial use of Falk LTG coupling grease will eliminate the need for routine lubrication while still providing lubrication to the tapered grid. With LTG, Steelflex combines the high torque performance of a gear coupling and the low maintenance of a disc or elastomer coupling.”
A nitrile seal prevents the loss of lubricant and entrance of water, dust, or other materials into the coupling.
“These are a cost-effective, low-maintenance solution,” says Steve. “This saves the customer time and money through fewer replacements, less frequent inspections and less hub damage.”
The “replace-in-place” design of the Falk Steelflex T10 Grid couplings eliminates the need to move hubs or re-align the shafts.
The Steelflex couplings are also industry compliant with the ATEX II 2GD c T6 certified standard to ensure safe use in environments that contain high volume usage of gases, vapours, mists, or dust mixtures that can cause explosive reactions.
Rexnord offers full-service engineering and inventory teams and together with BSC they share a joint cause in promoting their products to customers directly.
“We have a lot of technical expertise in our sales team, but we know that we can rely on Rexnord anytime we need them, which opens up a lot of customer service opportunities,” says Steve.
“We work with Rexnord to continue providing premium products and services directly to our customer’s doorsteps,” he concludes.
Design Features include:
- Long life with alloy steel tapered grids
- Extended maintenance periods with the use of Falk Long Term Grease
- Easy maintenance with the replace-in-place design
- Absorbs shock loads and offers vibration damping with the original Falk Steelflex T-Grid design
- Reduced peak torque loads by as much as 30%
- Reduced wear on connected equipment components
- Grade 5 cap screws ensure holding power to fasten the cover
Special design options:
- Type T63 disc brake
- Type T90 flywheel
- Type BW brake wheel
- 12 models to choose from