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Why Should You Choose Splined Shaft Over Other Shafts

February 05, 2021

Why Should You Choose Splined Shaft Over Other Shafts

The splined shaft often forms part of a range of linear motion. Unlike the key shafts, spline shafts are not equipped with slots that are able to lower torque-transmitting capacity. Moreover, splines provide a more even transfer of torque and offer equal distribution of load along the sides of the teeth of the gear. This translates to longer fatigue life for the shaft.



This is essential in industries like agriculture and farming where equipment is expected to have a longer lifespan, and undergoes extraneous loads of work daily.


Spline teeth come in different types which means there is improved sliding ability and transfer of concentricity. For helical spline drives, it means a better transfer of axial and rotary motion. For these reasons, the splined shaft is preferred than keyed shafts. 


In general, splines are utilized together as internal and external splines. The external splines are typically cut through a milling machine while the internal splines may require some form of a slotting machine. In terms of manufacturing methods, there are very limited ways to make internal splines due to inaccessibility constraints while external splines can be made using a variety of processes. Depending on your specific application, the splined shaft comes in many types.


One of them is the helical spline that has equal groove space forming a helix with the sides parallel or involute. This design is ideal for allowing rotary and linear motion between parts while minimizing stress concentrations under high load. Conversely, crowned splines work similar to the involute splines, these ones also have sided with equally spaced grooves that are involute but with modified male teeth as an allowance for any potential misalignment. 


There are also ball splines and parallel key splines. Ball spline is a splined shaft that has an outer teeth part which has a ball bearing, enabling free linear motion despite high torque. On the other hand, parallel key splines have equally spaced grooves that are all parallel in both radial and axial directions. They can be cut or cold roll-formed. Choosing the right one requires careful determination of your application’s parameters or requirements. 


If you’re looking for high quality manufacturing to supply splines, gears and more, True Gear & Spline Ltd. has over 30 years of experience and the latest technology in the field. Contact us today to learn about our full range of services and products.