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drive shaft u-joint

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Product Summary

A u-joint is a kind of shaft joint whose whole name is universal joint. A universal joint, or u-joint, is one of many names given to a type of gimbal-based joint design that connects two rods and allows them to bend in virtually any direction while spinning. Other names for the design include Cardan joint, which is the common term in Europe; the now-archaic Hooke's joint; and Hardy-Spicer joint, named for a pair of inventors who developed a variant on the traditional design. A universal joint is typically used in situations where long shafts are rotating in place and transmitting power, such as an automobile's drivetrain.

The idea of a joint that leverages the way gimbals work has been around since the Classical eras of ancient Greece and Rome. Its application in the transfer of motion, as it is used in modern vehicles, was not conceived until around the middle of the 16th century by Italian scientist Gerolamo Cardano, for whom the joint is still named in Europe. Others subsequently refined the design, and by the 19th century several variations were patented and remain familiar in the 21st century.

A drive shaft, also known as a propeller shaft or Cardan shaft, is a mechanical part that translates the torque generated by a vehicle's engine into usable motive force to propel the vehicle. Physically, a drive shaft is tubular in design, with an outside metal housing that protects an interior metal cylinder, which spins at a frequency governed by engine output. Depending on the engine and drive configuration of a vehicle, be it automobile, boat, or motorcycle, one or more drive shafts may work cooperatively to turn engine power into motion.

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