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How to Manufacture Splined Shafts?

April 26, 2021

How to Manufacture Splined Shafts?

A splined shaft transmits torque by using its equally spaced teeth to mesh with internal splines that have slots or spaces. Considering the precision required to create equally spaced teeth along the shaft, different machining processes can be performed to achieve the desired results. Here are some of the most efficient and proven methods to successfully machine a splined shaft.


Tooling Solutions for Machining Splined Shafts



Serrations and involute splines can be achieved through the milling process. During the process, the cutting tool rotates axially along the surface of the shaft to remove the unwanted particles forming the splines. The milling machines allow the workpiece to rotate as the cutting tool continues to generate splines around the workpiece.



The hobbing process can produce all types of external splines. A hobbing machine uses a cutting tool called the ‘hob’ that rotates with the workpiece removing material from the spaces between each spline tooth. 



Both external and internal splines can be produced using the shaping process. The shape cutter which looks like a disc has a cutting edge on one side with teeth or projection, pressure angle, and diametric pitch. As the workpiece and cutting tool rotates, each tooth is generated from those tight-spaced cuts. The tool cuts back and forth as it rotates in one direction and retracts a bit to prevent interference on the return stroke.



Broaching is more beneficial to female splines or internal splines. The cutting tool called the broach has an accurate number of teeth and a precise profile of the desired internal spline. Broaching can be linear which means the broach cuts linearly against the workpiece. On the other hand, rotary broaching uses a rotating broach that is pressed into the workpiece. Each cutting edge has an increasing form of the desired spline profile. At the end of the process, the last rows of cutting edges produce the final spline profile.



Another method that can produce internal splines is slotting. The cutting tool moves up and down as it feeds into the workpiece. Upon reaching the desired depth, the cutting tool retracts and the workpiece is indexed. The process is then repeated until all areas are machined.


Each spline machining process comes with its benefits and depending on your requirements, it is always best to work with a reliable gear manufacturing company.


True Gear & Spline is one of Canada’s reputable gear and spline manufacturing companies. Our gears and splined shafts are manufactured to the highest standard of accuracy using CNC machining. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.