Let's say I have a 300 rpm motor and a roller connected to it's shaft and I would like to use it for pulling fabric from a printer-kind machine. But think that printer's printing speed is changing according to printed surface and I want this motor's shaft to spin freely when opposite load occurs on this roller by fabric.

So basically, if printer prints 100rpm long fabric, 200rpm of motor will spin freely as printer pull other side of fabric. When printer prints another length of fabric, motor will roll again. Roller (or idler?) should be able to spin asynchronously.

I don't know much about bearings and mechanical parts so my question might be weird, but I heard some kind of bearing can solve my problem. I tried to explain but sorry if it's nonsense. Thank you for your help in advance.


Ok, so what you are searching for is a torque limiter (slip type) which only transmits torques below a certain threshold (be careful here, since you need to allow some torques to accelerate your shaft). Slip type means that it automatically continues transmitting torque if the torque is below a certain threshold.

The most simple type are so called friction plates which are literally just two plates which are preloaded to each other and attached to the shaft on both sides. If too much torque is acting on it, frictional forces will be lower than transmitted force and the rotate relatively to each other.

Beside, keep in mind that the mass of the roller is quite important!


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  • $\begingroup$ This is exactly what i am looking for, thank you very much :) $\endgroup$ – she hates me Jan 26 '19 at 12:27

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