The Pre-Conditions of a Good Universal Joint

In the mechanical engineering industry, universal joints play a crucial role. The joints are essential components that find many applications.

Typically, a universal joint connects two shafts, enabling relative rotation in two axes.

A universal joint has two revolute joints with perpendicular and intersecting axes. And you can quickly figure out the working mechanism of the joints. When the shafts connect, each terminates at a revolute joint with its axis perpendicular to its rotational axis.

Due to the connection, the rotatory motion transfers between shafts. In addition, the motion also corrects any misalignment in both rotational degrees of freedom.

Typically, there can be two degrees of freedom in a universal joint. And that can arise due to a single rotational degree of freedom. And it constrains the shaft rotation and relative rotational translations.

However, it would be wrong to consider a universal joint as a constant-velocity joint. And that is because the velocity of the output shaft will oscillate only when the input shaft rotates at a constant speed. And the driving force behind the oscillation is the degree of misalignment between the shafts.

When the shafts become coaxial, the output shaft has a constant velocity.

Some degree of customization is required while using universal joints. Therefore, you need to discuss all aspects of the usage of the joints with the supplier.

Your engineering team can specify the parameters that should be present in the universal joints.

A few of the factors can be:

Operational Considerations

The kind of application a universal joint will perform for your business is the first aspect to consider. So, you should assess the operating speed, angle, torque, and environmental conditions before purchasing them.

 For example, some types of universal joints can handle heavier loads, and others can run at high speed on axes over more extended periods.

In addition, you should check the impact of your applications that stop abruptly. Such applications can cause damage to the joints.

Likewise, the operating environment is another crucial point of consideration. Remember, dust or abrasives can cause wear and component damage.

Again, if the universal joint gets exposed to heat, chemicals, or washdown fluids, it can develop corrosion. Again, the joint may fail to work without adequate lubrication.

Friction Bearing Or Low-Friction Types

First, you need to know the meaning conveyed by the term friction bearing. It refers to the friction that develops between the moving components of the central connector during operation.

Understandably, the higher the friction, the more stress and wear sustained by the joint. As a result, heat, premature wear, and loss of precision develop.

However, things can become convenient with friction-bearing joints. Such joints can operate with significant friction between the pins and the block of the joint. And, friction-bearing universal joints can work well for many standard applications apart from carrying high loads at moderate bearing speeds.

You can reduce friction by properly lubricating the universal joints. And it will help to reduce friction, heat generation, and wear. Moreover, lubricating also helps in extending the life of the universal joints.

You can also use needle-bearing universal joints that bear roller bearings at the contact points between pins and yokes. And the roller bearings significantly reduce friction, heat, stress, and wear on the moving components. So, such joints can sustain higher operational speed and precision for extended periods.

There is also the option of packing needle-bearings with lubricants and sealing them for the joint’s lifetime.


Before you purchase universal joints, you should assess all the aspects essential for bringing efficiency to your business operations. But, you should also ensure that you choose a reliable supplier as that has a lot to do with the quality of the joints.

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