No matter the industry, there are a few universal truths about heavy machinery:
It works hard.
Downtown costs money.
It’s incredibly important to take care of it.
When it comes to protecting and extending the life of your heavy machinery, there’s one piece of equipment that is vital — the torque limiter.
What do they do and how do you select the one that’s right for your needs? Keep reading for answers to these and more torque limiter questions.
What’s Torque and What Do Torque Limiters Do?
Let’s start by covering all the bases and making sure everyone knows what torque is.
Torque is generally associated with the power of a machine, be it a crane or a Corvette. How many of us first heard the term in a car commercial?
Without delving deep into the physics of it, the layman’s term definition of torque is “a twisting force that causes rotation.”
Torque is the force that determines how hard an engine works, whether it’s the sedan that carries our children to school or the crane that lifts fully-loaded shipping containers. The more torque an engine produces, the more work it can do.
The thing about torque is that not only is it powerful enough to propel objects to great distances and heights, it’s also powerful enough to damage the very machines that generate it.
That’s where torque limiters come in.
These devices, which are often referred to as clutches, control the amount of torque that the driveshaft of a car, truck, crane or another piece of machinery experiences at any given time.
In doing so, torque limiters prevent damage caused by mechanical overload.
How Do They Work?
Ok, so torque limiters protect our machines by doing just that — controlling the amount of torque they experience. But how?
Simple torque-limiting devices rely on a pin that connects two rotating objects.
When the spin they create becomes too great for the machine — that is when there is more torque than it can handle — the pin breaks. The machine stops. Damage is prevented.
Friction devices work sort of like the brakes in your car; a pair of friction linings grip the rotating drive component to decrease torque.
Ball and denet designs use the pressure of springs or pneumatic technology to cap torque. Magnetic and high-tech versions are also available.
Each of these versions range widely in terms of their applicability and, of course, cost.
For example, simple devices, the least expensive, are also the most unpredictable. Pins break at too low of levels, causing at best annoyance and at worst costly interruptions to your operation.
Magnetic versions, meanwhile, are best for low-torque applications.
It’s important to study up on the various torque-limiting devices available and choose the one that will not only keep your equipment up and running the short term, but operating well into the long term.
Kor-Pak offers a wide range of torque-limiting devices and services — and much more. Contact us today for information on how we can serve you.