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Table of Contents

Introduction:............................................................................................................................................ 2
Geometry: ............................................................................................................................................... 3
Meshing: ................................................................................................................................................. 4
Connections, Loads and Supports: .......................................................................................................... 4
Results:.................................................................................................................................................... 5
References:.............................................................................................................................................. 6

Introduction:
Hookes Universal Joint or Cardan Joint is used to transfer angular motion in misaligned
shafts. These joints are capable of high power transmission; however the angular velocity of
the output shaft is varying in cycles as compared to the constant angular velocity of input
shaft [1].
A simple universal joint mainly consists of two yokes attached to the input and output shafts
and a spider or cross with bearings through which yokes are attached. The cause of failure
in the universal joints is mainly due to failure of joint bearings due to thrust forces and
friction acting on the bearings. In the analysis, however, we shall use frictionless contact
between cross and yoke as ideal lubrication condition for the sake of convenience.
In the figure below, the consequent acceleration and deceleration due to misalignment and
velocity variation in output shaft is given [2].

Figure 1: Acceleration variation in universal joint

The operating angles of misaligned shafts are usually very small, around 3o for the best
connection. Acceleration and deceleration increases when this operating angle increases. A
set of data is available for 10o operating angle as shown in figure 2. It can be seen that force
varies sinosidally with rotation, where solid line shows stress in input joint bearing and
dotted line shows stress in output joint bearing [1]. This graph has been plotted for angular
speed of 1000 rpm and torque 100N.m. The peak value of stress is near 1300N.

Figure 2: Forces on the Cardan joint bearings with the shaft angle of 10, the angular speed of 1000 rpm, and the
transmitted torque of 100 N.m .

Geometry:
Geometry was formed roughly by assuming appropriate dimensions. The final geometry
consists of 3 parts; two yokes and one a cross. One yoke was built at an angle of 15 degrees
as this is the usable working limit of operating angle and components start striking with
each other after we increase the value of angle. All the components are made of steel by
default.

Figure 3: Geometry consisting of two yokes and a cross

All the parts are frozen since slicing was done to improve meshing.

Meshing:
Meshing was performed on the sliced regions of yokes using multizone method with hex
dominant meshing. The meshing of cross was performed through automatic meshing
method. Maximum skewness could not be reduced below 0.95 even with further slicing so
extra slicing to form more parts was avoided to reduce the time for solution.

Figure 4: Meshing

Connections, Loads and Supports:


Contacts of yokes with cross at all the four points were taken as frictionless. The contacts of
the sliced parts were taken as bonded connections. One yoke was given fixed support at the
end and a cylindrical support was defined on the other one. Axial motion was allowed while
radial and tangential motions were restricted in defining the cylindrical support as in actual
the small axial motion is allowed with universal joints. Without defining the cylindrical load
Mechanical shows the model as under constrained and solution does not converge.
A moment of 100N.m was applied at the shaft of the tilted yoke. The figure on the next page
shows the details of supports and load applied on the joint. The value of 100N.m is taken
from the data of graph mentioned in figure 2 above so that the results can be compared for
validation at the end of analysis. This type of load is also in accordance with the physical
reality, since shafts are under the action of moments and torsion loads.

Figure 5: Loading conditions

Results:
As the yoke exerts force on the cross at the point of contact, the first intuitive
understanding is that maximum deformation and stress should occur at that point. The
result from analysis strengthens this hypothesis. It also seems possible that stresses should
be generated at the center of the cross but our model analysis does not show high stress in
that region.

Figure 6: total deformation

The figures 7 and 8 below respectively show the equivalent stress and equivalent elastic
strain. The point of deformation is the point of contact of tilted yoke on which moment was
applied and the cross while maximum stress and strain occur at the contact point of the
other yoke.

Figure 7: Equivalent stress

Figure 8: Equivalent elastic strain

As it can be seen in figure 7, the maximum equivalent stress is 122.35MPa. Multiplying it by


the area of contact i.e. half of the cylindrical area of the hole containing the cross, which is
equal to 15.7 square mm, gives us the approximate force working in that region which is
about 1900N. This value is in agreement with the value of the data (1330N approx.) given in
figure 2 where the increase in the force here can be attributed to 5 degrees larger angle
between the shafts.

References:
[1]. Dynamics of universal joints, its failures and some propositions for practically
improving its performance and life expectancy by Farzad Vesali, Mohammad Ali
Rezvani and Mohammad Kashfi
[2]. What-when-how.com/automobile/universal-joints-automobile/