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Mechanical engineering cardan shaft
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Mechanical engineering cardan shaft


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A shaft with a universal joint at its end to accommodate a varying shaft angle.

Inmotor vehicles, a Cardan shaft is used to connect the motor and transmission(at an angle of up to 5°), the transmission and transfer case (at an angle ofup to 5°), and the transmission or transfer case and the rear-axle drive (at anangle of up to 15°), as well as in steering gear or winch drive.

A Cardan shaft consists of a propeller shaft with two (less frequently one) Cardans. If the propeller shaft is connecting mechanisms between which theangle and distance vary (for example, the transmission and rear-axle drive of amotor vehicle), overhang balance is provided in the form of a slip splinedjoint, which makes possible a change in the length of the shaft within setlimits. Depending on the angle between the propeller shafts in a Cardan shaft,rigid or flexible semi-Cardan joints, full Cardans of unequal angular velocity,or Cardans of equal angular velocity may be used. Full Cardans, which have twojaws, needle bearings, a spider, mounts for the spider journals, and atightening mechanism, are the most commonly used type. The efficiency of asingle Cardan is 0.985–0.99.


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