Flexible Couplings

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Flexible couplings (also known as flexible rubber couplings or fernco couplings, after a popular brand) are used to connect and seal pipes of different materials or sizes, as well as to repair broken sections of piping. 

These couplings are made from a flexible, durable rubber material that can adjust to fit the outside diameters of the pipes being joined. They are equipped with stainless steel clamps that are tightened around the ends of the pipes to secure the connection and ensure a watertight seal.

Find Out More About Our Types of Flexible Couplings
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What Are Flexible Couplings? 

A flexible coupling is a component used within underground drainage to ensure a watertight seal between two adjoining pipes, as a means of 'coupling' them. 

We stock a wide range of flex coupling products from Fernco, previously known as Flexseal, such as adaptors, drain couplings and lubricant gel. 

The stainless steel central band safeguards the joint against shear forces, ensuring the alignment of the connected pipes and aiding in the prevention of pipe displacement.

Types of Flexible Couplings 

  • Rubber Flexible Couplings: Made from durable rubber, these couplings are designed to connect pipes of the same or different materials and diameters. They are widely used due to their flexibility, ease of installation, and effective sealing capabilities.
  • Transition Couplings: Specifically designed to connect pipes of different diameters or materials, transition couplings have different-sized ends to accommodate the pipes being joined. They are essential for repairs and modifications in drainage systems.
  • Repair Couplings: These couplings are used for the repair of damaged or broken pipes. They can be installed without the need to remove a section of the pipe, providing a quick and efficient repair solution.
  • End Caps: Flexible end caps are used to temporarily or permanently seal the end of a pipe. They are useful during construction or when a system is being repaired or modified.
  • Saddle Tees: These are flexible fittings that allow for the easy connection of a smaller diameter pipe to a larger one without the need to cut into the main pipe. They are commonly used to create branch lines from existing drainage pipes.
  • Bushings and Adapters: Flexible bushings and adapters are used to connect pipes with different connection types or to transition between sizes and materials. They provide a versatile solution for complex drainage configurations.
  • No-Hub Couplings: Designed for use with cast iron pipes, no-hub couplings use a stainless steel shield and clamps to provide a strong, leak-proof connection. They are particularly useful in heavy-duty applications where a robust seal is required.

Benefits of Using Flexible Couplings 

  • Versatility: They can connect pipes of different materials, such as PVC, clay, concrete, cast iron, and steel, allowing for flexibility in the use of materials and the repair of existing systems.
  • Accommodation of Misalignment: Underground pipes can shift due to ground movement, freeze-thaw cycles, or settling. Flexible couplings can accommodate slight misalignments that occur over time, maintaining a secure and leak-proof connection.
  • Ease of Installation: These couplings can be installed quickly and easily without the need for special tools or adhesives, making them ideal for repairs and maintenance in challenging underground environments.
  • Vibration and Shock Absorption: They can absorb vibrations and shocks from underground traffic or equipment, reducing the risk of damage to the drainage system.
  • Sealing and Protection: Flexible couplings provide a tight seal against the infiltration of roots, soil, and water, protecting the integrity of the drainage system and preventing blockages and leaks.

Frequently Asked Flexible Couplings Questions

Are Flexible Shaft Couplings & Bellows Couplings Used in Drainage? 

While labelled as couplings, Flexible shaft coupling and bellows coupling components are not typically used in underground drainage systems as their primary applications lie in the realm of power transmission for machinery and mechanical systems. 

These components are designed to connect two shafts together to transmit power, often in high-speed applications or where precise motion control is required.

Flexible shaft couplings are particularly valued for their ability to absorb vibrations and compensate for shaft misalignment, while bellows couplings offer precise torque transmission and high torsional stiffness. 

Twin disc gearboxes, which are renowned for their ability to manage high torque and provide variable speed control in demanding applications, require coupling systems incorporating these components to accommodate the gearbox's output with minimal energy loss.

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