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Universal Joint

 
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Universal Joint

Definition:

U-joint or Hooke’s joint helps the rigid rod used for transmitting rotary motion to flexibly bend in any direction.

Requirement:

It helps to provide flexibility in power transmission from gearbox to the differential as both are located at different angles.

Function:

Propeller shaft or drive shaft is made into two separate units joined together using U-joints at 900 to each other using a yoke. This joint helps to transmit power at different angles. Also if one piece shaft is used for the transmission, it will make the entire system rigid and will sooner or later suffer from bending.

Automotive drive-train usually employs a double Cardan shaft with two universal joints to transmit the power from engine to the driving axle. Since the second universal joint is phased according to the position of first one, the changing angular velocity between the two is cancelled which helps to match the velocity of driving shaft with driven shaft. Such arrangement is commonly used in rear wheel drive vehicles and the cardan shaft is known as drive shaft or propeller shaft.

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