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Torque Limiter Technologies for Rotating Machinery

By Todd Lehman, Voith Turbo |

Torque overloads can cause serious problems for rotating machinery, but an understanding of torque limiting technologies can help engineers to enable more reliable operations Reliability, safety and productivity are key terms that come to mind when considering manufacturing plant operations, especially those utilizing rotating machines. In the chemical process industries (CPI), there are difficult applications, such as those using continuous mixers and melt pumps, that operate with the risk of torque overloads. Overloads pose a threat to operational safety and can cause catastrophic machine failures. For example, failures caused by unexpected machine jams and electrical-grid-induced motor torque spikes can be severe enough to impact a chemical plant’s production for days, potentially stretching into months. A rotating machine whose drive-chain design does not fully account for torque spikes caused by sudden machine jams or electrical-supply faults will expose the weak link, either during the occurrence of the torque spike or sometime later when the fatigued link finally breaks unexpectedly. There are several ways to protect a drive chain. One method is to purposefully design the drive chain with a weak link, such as a closely sized…
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