Torque limiters stop mechanical motion in rotating equipment where unchecked torque buildup can cause damage and injury A torque limiter allows acquired energy to dissipate safely, reducing the chance of damage from torque overload. Tsubaki’s torque limiter sprockets provide protection and ensure efficient and safe mechanical operation in a variety of industrial equipment.

What is Torque Overload?

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Guide to Torque Limiter Sprockets

Torque overload happens when the amount of rotational energy (torque) within a system exceeds the equipment’s threshold. This event may occur as the result of a variety of situations, including:

  • Operator error
  • Operating conditions inconsistent with equipment design specifications
  • Poorly designed equipment or systems
  • The intrusion of dust, debris, or other  contamination/jams
  • Equipment failure or malfunction

Torque overload can stress equipment beyond capacity, resulting in equipment damage or system failure. Extensive maintenance, repairs, and downtime can cost manufacturers both time and money. 

What Is a Torque Limiter?

Torque limiters — also known as overload clutches — are devices designed to protect equipment from torque overload. When torque exceeds a certain threshold, a torque limiter shuts down the equipment to prevent the torque from exceeding safe levels. This action prevents excess torque from damaging critical components such as couplings, driveshafts, gears, etc….

A torque limiter creates friction torque between two composite friction disks and a sprocket. The disks are held against the sprocket face using calibrated springs. The torque generated by rotating equipment transmits from the shaft through the disks to the sprocket. When friction exceeds the pre-set torque limit, the sprocket slips and reduces the overloaded torque that transmits from the driveshaft to the sprocket. Once torque returns to acceptable levels, the sprocket stops slipping, and the equipment returns to normal operation.

Typical Applications for Torque Limiter Sprockets

Many load-bearing and conveyor systems incorporate torque limiter sprockets, where slow motion with high loads can generate excess torque. Most applications use torque limiter sprockets to protect drive components from jams caused by debris, operator error, and equipment malfunctions. Rather than allowing the equipment to continue under high rotational stress until parts break down, torque limiters stop operations quickly and effectively. With torque limiters, your equipment gets spared the stress of overload, reducing the potential for employee injury, equipment damage, and complete system failures.

Introducing Tsubaki’s Torque Limiter Sprockets

Tsubaki’s torque limiter sprockets feature a unique, user-friendly design that we pre-assemble and custom-bore to your specifications. The automatic safety device prevents torque overload and allows for more reliable, cost-effective operations. You can change settings on our torque limiter sprockets with a simple adjusting nut. The product also comes with an automatic reset, so you don’t have to manually reset the sprocket every time an overload occurs.

Available in a wide range of sizes and tooth counts, Tsubaki’s torque limiter sprockets are composed of two composite friction disks compressed against a hardened-toothed sprocket with specialized springs. During typical operation, our sprocket will allow the central drive shaft to rotate and transmit force. When the rotational force exceeds the set value, the shaft slips between the friction disks, preventing the driveshaft from transmitting additional force until the torque reaches safe levels.

Our friction disk-style torque limiters are available with settings from 1 to 9,310 Nm, with MTO options available for higher torque requirements. To install, just set the torque rating to your desired level and mount the sprocket on the drive shaft. The pre-assembled design allows for quick installation without the need for additional components and springs. Tsubaki makes ordering straightforward and painless with easy-to-understand part numbers that incorporate all the critical part information, including:

  • Sprocket Pitch
  • TTA
  • Sprocket Tooth Count 
  • Torque Limiter Size
  • Spring Count

Power Transmission Solutions From Tsubaki

Tsubaki is a global supplier of high-performance power transmission and motion control products across industries ranging from automotive and aerospace to industrial and mining applications. Our state-of-the-art torque limiter sprockets provide optimal protection with minimal hassle. While many competitor torque limiters require end-users to obtain and assemble the limiter, springs, bushings, and sprockets, Tsubaki’s torque limiter sprocket comes pre-assembled for easier installation, simplified maintenance, and significantly reduced downtime. 

To see how our torque limiter sprockets can improve your operations, request a quote today.