Rigid Shaft Couplings

Rigid couplings, the simplest type of couplings, are used to connect two shafts that are precisely aligned. They provide a fixed connection between two shafts where torsional flexibility is not required, shaft alignment is maintained, and bearing support is provided. Any amount of shaft misalignment can cause excessive wear or failure of the shaft, coupling, or bearing.

Shaft support bearings should be located close to the coupling to reduce shaft deflection (the degree to which a structural element moves under a load). To reduce vibration, balancing may be required for large couplings or those running at high speeds.

Types of Rigid Shaft Couplings


Designed for heavy loads and used to connect shafts of the same or different diameters. They have two flanged hubs that are bored and keyed to fit the shaft and are bolted together. Some have removable bushings for easy replacement. They are easy to install, remove, and require little maintenance.

Sleeve / Muff

Made from one piece of material that is factory-bored to work with a standard-sized shaft. Keyways are broached and set screws are installed. Shaft keys transmit torque from the shaft to the coupling hub and set screws keep the coupling from sliding along the shaft.

Ribbed / Clamped

Designed for heavy-duty applications, made in two pieces, and used to connect shafts of the same diameter. The two halves clamp on the shaft and held together by bolts. The coupling is keyed to both shafts.

Key Manufacturers of Rigid Couplings We Offer

  • Boston Gear (Altra)
  • Climax Metal Products
  • Curtis
  • Dodge Baldor (ABB)
  • Fenner Drives
  • Hub City
  • IDC Select
  • Lovejoy (Timken)
  • Martin Sprocket & Gear
  • Magnaloy
  • Maurey Manufacturing
  • R + W
  • Renold
  • Ringfeder
  • Royersford
  • Ruland
  • P.T. International
  • Stafford Manufacturing
  • TB Woods (Altra)
  • Timken
  • Zero-Max

PTDA-Handbook-CoverContent on this page was created using excerpts from the Power Transmission Handbook (5th Edition), which is written and sold by the Power Transmission Distributor’s Association (PTDA). The Power Transmission Handbook is just under 400 pages and is a valuable resource for anyone involved or interested in the power transmission industry.

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