Know All About Oldham Couplings & Breather Valves

If you work in mechanical engineering, it’s likely that you’ve used Oldham couplings, which have a variety of uses.

The couplings, which are three-piece flexible shaft couplings, are used in mechanical power transmission systems to join the driven and driven shafts. The couplings can also be used to correct parallel shaft misalignment that happens when coupled shafts are not aligned perfectly. Another crucial component of the connections is shock absorption.

Oldham Coupling: The Working Mechanism

Oldham couplings typically have a slider block sandwiched by identical left- and right-hand slotted elements.

The couplings were made with the intention of functioning with machines that have misaligned shafts rather than angular and axial misalignment.

The coupling’s design enables it to successfully handle axial misalignment that results from the collision of two shaft ends.

Typically, producers use acetal, nylon, or a combination of those materials to create the slider block.

The ability to press the slider block into the slotted mating halves of the couplings, which are frequently made of aluminum to minimize inertia, also helps to prevent backlash.

Sometimes you have to replace the block to get the coupling to work again because the sliding friction causes the systems to be out of alignment, which causes backlash.

Surprisingly, you will observe a difference in how jaw couplings and Oldham couplings operate. Oldham couplings have the benefit of continuing to transmit torque even if the centerpiece breaks down.

Another distinguishing feature of Oldham couplings is that they do not rotate in the same plane as the metal teeth of the shaft halves

The coupling’s ability to act as a mechanical fuse to stop overloads from harming the driven or driving equipment is a benefit of the feature.

The slider block with some clearance for power transmission applications is typically made of metal.

In order for the couplings to operate smoothly, you must also lubricate them.

 Oldham Couplings: Key Terminologies

The following are the common terminologies associated with Oldham coupling:

  • Bore size or diameter – the diameter of the coupling bore holding the connecting shaft. 
  • Overall length – the end-to-end length of the coupling, measured from the two end faces of the coupling.
  • Hub width – the width of the hub as measured from the end face to the internal face of the tooth joining the slider block.
  • Hub material – the construction material of the hub.
  • Slider block material – the construction material of the slider block
  • Coupling diameter – the diameter of the coupling.

What are Breather Valves?

A breather valve is yet another essential tool for the mechanical engineering sector. Breather valves are a unique category of relief valves created with tank safety in mind. The valves also go by the names direct-acting pressure relief valves and vacuum relief valves.

Different breather valve types, including pressure, vacuum, and mixed pressure or vacuum valves, will be visible. They are either vented to the atmosphere or have flanged outputs.

On bulk storage tanks, pressure or vacuum relief valves are frequently utilized. Additionally, they can be utilized on tanks with floating covers and permanent roofs to lessen evaporation loss.

The valves prevent the system from becoming out of balance or creating an excessive vacuum or pressure that could harm the storage vessel.

Weighted pallets or springs are used as the valves’ control mechanisms, and you can combine them to provide the necessary pressure or vacuum levels.


In the field of mechanical engineering, both devices are incredibly useful. But you should be careful when selecting the supplier. Keep in mind that you may only profit fully if you get the products from a reputable and reliable seller.

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