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Metal and Molded Universal Joints

Universal Joints
Universal joints are used to transmit power, motion or both. It is a mechanical connection between intersecting shafts, which are usually not parallel. Cardan joint or Hooke joint is the most common and consists of two yokes, one on each shaft, connected by a cross-shaped intermediate member called the spider. The angle between the shafts is called the operating angle. It is usually constant during operation, but not necessarily so. Good design practice calls for low operating angles, often less than 25°.

Universal joints are available in steel or in thermoplastic body members. For maximum load-carrying capacity for a given size a steel universal joint should be selected. Universal joints with thermoplastic body members are used in light industrial applications in which their self-lubricating feature, light weight, negligible backlash, corrosion resistance and capability for high-speed operation are significant advantages. Ball-jointed universals are used for high-speed operation and for carrying large torques. They are available in miniature and standard sizes.

SDP pioneered the concept of combining the exceptional qualities of selected plastic materials with different metals to create products which incorporate both. “SUPER-PLAST®” designs have the following advantages:
  • Inexpensive replacement of metal components
  • Dampens vibration
  • Corrosive and chemical resistant
  • Electrically insulated

SDP/SI offers an extensive selection of inch and metric dimensioned universal joints available in steel, stainless steel, acetal and acetal with brass spider and inserts as standard catalog items.

The molded universal joints can be manufactured to special requirements:
  • Bores molded to accommodate square, “D” shape or hexagonal shafts
  • Shafts molded into the components
  • Zero backlash or components with built-in backlash
  • Gears, pulleys or other components molded or assembled to couplings or universal joints

Call to discuss your special need or application.


Commercial Metal Universal Joints

Commercial Metal Universal Joints


Single and double joint stainless steel and alloy steel universal joints are offered with a variety of bore sizes. Miniature universal joints feature zero backlash, sealed-in lubrication and low inertia. Inverted design universal joints are small in size and lightweight for given torque capacity. These joints may be made into telescoping units by mating them with telescoping miniature ball splines.


Commercial Plastic Universal Joints

Commercial Plastic Universal Joints


Plastic universal joints are inexpensive, dampen vibration, electrically insulating, and are well suited for low torque applications. We offer a wide variety of sizes and styles as standard catalog items. We can also manufacture them to specific requirements, please consult SDP/SI Engineering for further details.


Commercial and Precision Telescoping Universal Joints

Commercial & Precision Telescoping Universal Joints


Stainless steel telescoping universal joints are offered in a number of sizes and are heat and corrosion resistant. Telescoping miniature universal joints feature zero backlash and accommodate 1/4 axial motion. Molded universal joints with a molded slide extension or brass slide extension are available in a variety of sizes, shorter or longer lengths are available on special order.


Precision Zero Backlash Universal Joints

Precision Zero Backlash Universal Joints