Cardan shafts, also known by the name of drive shafts, mainly originated in mid 19th century in automotive industry. It comprises of a telescopic sleeve, shaft tube and two cross joints that help in adjusting the distance between the drive axle and transmission. In heavy duty cardan shafts used for power transmission, they also play the role of vibration damping, cushioning and improving the overall dynamic performance of the complete shaft system. Every cardan shaft has two halves- one connected to the main shaft and the other that is connected to the driven shaft.
Different types of cardan shafts
Though originally used in the automotive industry, cardan shafts are today used in the field of mechanical engineering for different purposes. These cardan shafts can divided in to following types depending on their structure:
- Light Cardan shafts: These shafts have a low inertia and large mounting angles. They are mainly used in the paper making industry, pumping equipment, general machinery and test machines. The flange diameters range within 58-225 mm and the torque ranges from 180-22000 Nm.
- Long series cardan shafts: These shafts have a lightweight design, low inertia, maximum bearing life and a high torsional rigidity. These are mainly used in down coiler, pumping equipment, marine drives and large paper machines. The flange diameters in these shafts range from 160-390 mm and the torque ranges from 40000- 225000 Nm.
- Medium size cardan shafts: This is the most versatile range of cardan shafts product line. They have a high torque and compact rhythm. They are typically used in the large marine drives, steel rolling mills, straightening machines and cranes. The flange diameters among these range from 160 to 620 mm and the torque ranges from 21000- 1250000 nm.
- Heavy duty cardan shafts: These are heavy duty cardan shafts that are made of fixed raw materials through a specialized heat treatment process. These heavy duty cardan shafts are used in plate mills, crushers, tube piercers, and windmill test machines. The flange diameters in these range within 680-1200 mm and the torque ranges within 1640000- 9000000 nm.
- Hollow penetration cardan shafts: These shafts are used in the danielli type mills for the applications where large contractions and expansions are needed. However, the installation length is limited, thus making it useful only for H beam mills and bar mills. Their flange diameter ranges within 225- 490 mm and the torque between 56000- 700000 nm.
- Ultra short cardan shafts: These cardan shafts are used in applications where there is an extremely limited installation length with a compact design. These are installed in marines, windmills and locomotives. Their flange diameter ranges within 275- 440 mm and the torque between 25000- 90000 nm.
Different cardan shafts have different prices depending upon their usage. Life of a cardan shaft is around one year. After this, they need to be replaced. However, do remember, this replacement cannot be counted as waste of money. Rather, it is an investment that helps in proper and efficient working of your machinery.
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