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Universal Joints

  • Standard and Long variants
  • Steel and Stainless Steel
  • Bored and Unbored
  • Single and Double Joints
  • Plain or Needle Roller Bearings
  • To DIN 808
  • Protective Gaiters


What is a Universal Joint?

A Universal Joint (universal coupling, U-joint, Cardan joint, Spicer, Hardy Spicer joint, or Hooke’s joint) is a mechanical device that allows one or more rotating shafts to be linked together, even when misaligned.

What does a Universal Joint look like?

A Universal Joint is a joint or coupling, whose axes are inclined to each other. It consists of a pair of closely located hinges, oriented at 90° to each other. These hinges are connected by a cross shaft. Universal Joints come in single, double and telescopic variants. They can be supplied bored or unbored and in steel or stainless steel. Plain or needle roller bearings may be fitted, dependent on speed requirements; with needle bearings also offering minimal backlash.

Where is a Universal Joint used?

Universal Joints are typically used in drive shafts for machinery and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and configurations. This is to accommodate the wide range of applications they support. UJSN and UJDN versions include sealed and lubricated needle roller bearings with minimal backlash; more suited to maintain critical positioning performance and where increased speeds up to 4000 rpm are required.

What does a Universal Joint do?

A Universal Joint allows the transmission of torque and/or rotary motion and for the transmission of power between two points. These points do not have to be in line with each other.

How does a Universal Joint work?

Universal Joints are designed to connect misaligned shafts, whilst allowing for free movement and flexibility. However, due to its design, the Universal Joint is not a constant-velocity joint. Telescopic Universal Joints are used for applications where the distance between the driveshaft and driven shaft is variable.

Good to know about Universal Joints?

A configuration known as a double Cardan joint drive shaft partially overcomes the problem of jerky rotation (lack of constant velocity). This configuration uses two Universal Joints joined by an intermediate shaft. The second Universal Joint is phased in relation to the first Universal Joint thereby canceling the changing angular velocity.

Synthetic Protective Gaiters can be used with Universal Joints to help maintain permanent lubrication for all plain bearing versions and where corrosive environment or excessive ingress of debris could be a problem. Hexagonal and square bore versions are also available.

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