Industrial couplers, as a whole, are not really exciting party talk. They are not conversation starters or conversation pieces you can set on your coffee table. However, there are a few types of these couplers that are somewhat interesting, even if in name only. Here are a few examples of the most interesting industrial coupler types and what these couplers do.
You can almost see it, can you not? A coupler that looks like the open-mouthed jaws of a tyrannosaurus rex, and it is ready to clamp onto anything. Yet, this type of coupler is a lot less visually stimulating than all that. It is called a jaw coupler because it has a split face on one end, into which wires are inserted and held firmly in place. It tends to look like it is eating the wires that are inserted into the "jaw" end.
The purpose of a jaw coupling is mostly electrical. It transmits electrical signals. It can also be used to quiet vibrations in servo applications, but that is another explanation for another time.
This is an easy one. A gear coupling couples gears together. What makes this industrial coupler interesting is that it does not rub or grind against the gears while the gears are in motion. It prevents mechanical erosion, sparking, and fires when there is a flammable substance present on the gears. More often than not, if there are parts of a machine that need to spin in order for the machine to do its job, you will probably have a gear coupling present.
Flexible couplings seem like a fairy tale. After all, almost all couplings are made of metal. A flexible coupling, however, closely resembles a close-ended slinky toy. Once it is installed, it will bend, twist, bounce, drop, and rebound with nary a second thought. Sometimes this type of coupling really does come in handy for lifting heavy loads of rock in a quarry, or in bicycle braking systems.
Oldham couplings are comprised of three rotating discs. Each disc serves a purpose, but ultimately it is their spinning that makes them so fascinating. It is akin to placing three plastic Tinker-Toy discs on a dowel and then spinning each in an opposite direction to watch what happens. An Oldham coupling was invented for paddle steamer ships, but it has found new life in manufacturing companies.