Introduction to Oldham Couplings


Oldham couplings serve as crucial components in mechanical systems, providing flexibility and reliability in transmitting torque between shafts.

History and Development

Initially patented by John Oldham in 1821, these couplings have undergone significant evolution to meet modern engineering demands.

How Oldham Couplings Work

Oldham couplings utilize a unique design comprising three discs: two outer discs with slots and a middle disc with projections, allowing shafts misaligned by a small degree to transmit torque efficiently.

Advantages of Oldham Couplings

Their versatility, minimal backlash, and ability to compensate for misalignment make them preferred choices in various applications.

Oldham couplings can be used as an alternative to direct jaw couplings.

consists of three discs, two of which are usually made of aluminum or stainless steel and the third disc is made of plastic.

Applications and Industries

Its central plastic disc can also be considered as an electrical insulator.

Oldham couplings are recommended for reciprocating motion systems and can be installed on drive and driven shafts without moving equipment or disturbing axial alignment.

Design Variations

Manufacturers offer diverse designs, including single and double disc configurations, to accommodate specific operational requirements.

Material Selection

Materials like aluminum, stainless steel, and polymers are common choices, selected based on factors such as load capacity, environmental conditions, and cost-effectiveness.

Installation and Maintenance

Proper installation and periodic maintenance are crucial for maximizing the performance and longevity of Oldham couplings.

In case of exceeding the torque limit, the central disc of the coupling is separated first and prevents the transfer of torque.

and possible damage to the more expensive parts of the device and can act as a breaker.

Hubs are available in three styles:

  • BLANK:

where you place a non-standard shaft.

  • Blind Hub:
  • Thro’ Hub

Move the hub onto the shaft to change the disc.

Comparison with Other Coupling Types

In contrast to rigid and flexible couplings, Oldham couplings offer a balanced approach, combining flexibility with precise torque transmission.

Challenges and Limitations

While highly efficient, Oldham couplings may face challenges related to torque overload, vibration, and wear in demanding environments.

Case Studies and Examples

Real-world applications demonstrate the effectiveness of Oldham couplings in improving machinery performance and reducing downtime.

hole size:



Rate of speed:     4500 rpm

Temperature tolerance:

-10°F to 150°F with disc stall

-10°F to 130°F with nylon 11 disc

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