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Grid Coupling vs Flexible Coupling – What’s the Difference

Grid Coupling vs Flexible Coupling

Couplings have important functions in machines or equipment where power transmission is used. When two shafts connect, there should be a coupling to transmit power and avoid misalignment. Numerous types of couplings exist, such as universal coupling, jaw coupling, bellows coupling, etc. However, here we will compare two types of couplings often used in the industry: grid coupling and flexible coupling. In this blog, you will comprehensively compare grid coupling and flexible coupling their features, benefits, drawbacks, and applications.

What is Grid Coupling?

Grid Coupling is a type of shaft coupling which utilises two grids connected by bolts to form a flexible grid-like structure. The grids act like flexible springs, allowing the driving and driven components to move in many directions whilst still connecting them efficiently. This makes them ideal for applications where thermal expansion and misalignment of parts must be considered.

What is Flexible Coupling?

Flexible Coupling is a mechanical component used to connect rotating shafts to transmit torque. It can absorb vibrations and misalignments, providing a cushion between two connected elements, which allows them to move independently of each other. This type of coupling is mainly employed in industries such as power plants, manufacturing lines or shipbuilding.

Difference Between Grid Coupling and Flexible Coupling

Design and Construction:

The main difference between grid and flexible coupling is their design and construction. The grid coupling contains two halves with a horizontally loaded grid element in the middle of them. It has a floating metal hub that is restrained by two jaws. On the other hand, the flexible coupling comprises a sleeve with internal teeth and two hubs with external teeth. The sleeve joins with both hubs to provide flexibility to the drive system.

Misalignment Capability:

Another difference relates to their misalignment capability. Flexible coupling can handle a wide range of angular and axial misalignments. They also can reduce vibration, shock loads, and transmitting torque with minimum space requirement. In contrast, grid coupling has limited angular and axial misalignment capacity. It is not designed to reduce torsional vibration or attenuate shock loads.

Torque transmission:

The torque capacity of both couplings is different. Grid coupling has a higher torque capacity compared to that of flexible coupling. However, this difference in torque transmission is not critical for most applications as both couplings can transmit sufficient torque. The grid coupling is often preferred for high-torque applications such as pumps, conveyors, or compressors. On the other hand, flexible coupling is often used in low-torque applications like small motor drives and applications that demand shock absorption.


A significant difference between the two is their maintenance requirements. The grid coupling needs regular maintenance due to wear and tear in the grid elements. Inspecting and replacing the grids if they are worn out is essential. The flexible coupling needs less maintenance as they have no wear-prone part. However, inspecting them periodically for any signs of wear, corrosion, or damage is crucial.


Lastly, let’s discuss the application of both grid and flexible couplings. The grid coupling is commonly used for heavy-duty machinery, and its robustness benefits from its high torque transmission capabilities. They are widely used in pulp, paper, cement, chemical, and steel industries. Flexible couplings are suitable for applications that need vibration and shock reduction capabilities and, alternatively, for smaller systems where minimal alignment is an advantage. Flexible couplings and small machines, such as compressors and fans, are common in the automotive industry.


Ultimately, the selection of coupling type will be based on the machine or equipment requirements. In summary, the grid coupling features high torque transmission, while flexible coupling is ideal for reducing vibration and absorbing shock. The maintenance requirements of both coupling types are different, and so is their capacity to handle misalignment. Consider these differences when choosing between grid and flexible coupling for your application.

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