Propeller Shafts: Diagram, Parts, Types, Functions

by James Clayton
What is Propeller Shaft?

In this blog, you will learn what is a propeller shaft. How does this work? Its parts, types, functions, and more

What is Propeller Shaft?

A propeller shaft is used to transmit mechanical power, torque, and rotation. This shaft is also known as a driveshaft, riding shaft, tail shaft, or Cardan shaft.

Drive shafts are used to transfer torque between additives, which cannot be linked at the same time due to spacing or to allow relative motion between them.

Since torque is transmitted through the driveshaft, it is thus subject to torsional or shear stress. In order for them to be strong enough to bear the pressure while removing the excessive amount of extra weight, this will increase their rigidity.

Driveshafts are used differently in different types of cars, with unique configurations for front-wheel force, 4-wheel pressure, and front-engine rear-wheel pressure in the motors. Driveshafts are also used in automobiles such as bikes, locomotives, and marine vessels.

Parts of Propeller Shaft

The following are the major parts of a propeller shaft:

  1. u-joint
  2. tube
  3. center bearing
  4. Midship shaft
  5. End of gambling
  6. Slip Yoke and Tube Yoke
  7. Barrier lapel
Parts of Propeller Shaft

1. U-joint

A universal joint (U-joint) is a mechanical joint used to connect a rotating shaft. Nowadays, drive shafts and universal joints are mostly found in rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles.

2. Tube

A tube is a part of a drive shaft, often used in front-engine and rear-drive automobiles. The purpose of using the tube is to hold the rear end in place during acceleration and braking.

3. Centre Bearing

The center bearing is used to connect the two sections of the drive shaft. These bearings are meant to keep both parts of the driveshaft rigid to reduce harmonic vibrations when the vehicle is accelerating.

4. Midship shaft

The midship shaft is the basic component of the coupling shaft and is the part of the drive shaft that is connected to the frame at the center bearing.

5. End yoke

An end yoke is used for accuracy and durability. The benefit of using an end yoke is that it helps reduce noise and vibration to keep your driveline running smoothly.

6. Slip Yoke and Tube Yoke

The slip yoke is attached to the driveshaft itself using a universal joint. A slip yoke is fitted to transfer power by sliding in and out of the transfer case. A tube yoke is also required to allow the U-joints to rotate well with the drive shaft.

7. Flange

Flanges are used for automotive purposes to connect driveshafts to transmissions, transfer cases, and differentials. Flanges are also used to connect driveshafts to power take-offs, hydraulic pumps, and various accessories.

Functions of the Propeller Shaft

In an automobile, the engine is in front then the front wheel of the car is pushed. While some vehicles are rear-engined, the rear wheels are driven. To do this, a small propeller shaft is used to push each wheel.

The engine and transmission units are attached to the car body with the help of bendy mountings or bearings. Whereas the rear axle along with the differential and wheels are attached to the vehicle frame by a suspension spring.

If we take a look at the above arrangement, the transmission output and input shafts are in a specific plane in the rear axle housing. This propeller pushes the shaft that connects the two shafts so that they maintain their incline.

Thereafter, when the rear wheels encounter unevenness in the street, the rear axle moves up and down, compressing and expanding within the suspension springs. As a result, the perspective between the transmission output shaft and the propeller shaft changes.

In addition, the span captured using the propeller shaft is changed. This change is caused by the rotation of the propeller shaft and rear axle along an arc of their axis points.

Material Used In Propeller Shaft

The propeller shaft is made of hardened steel in tabular form. The center bearing is mounted between the two propeller shafts. The propeller shaft is made of alloy steel. They are also available in spring steel material.

Types of Propeller Shafts

The types of propeller shafts are as follows:

  1. single piece type
  2. two or three-piece type

1. Single Piece type

single piece type
single piece type

These shafts are used in vehicles with a short distance between the engine and axle, and in vehicles with four-wheel drive. Friction welding is applied to increase the strength, quality, and durability of the shaft.

2. Two or Three Piece type

Two or Three Piece type
Two or Three Piece type

2 or 3-piece shafts are used as part of motors with an extended distance between the engine and axle and 4-wheel-drive motors. Dividing the propeller shaft into 2 or 3 parts reduces the number of revolutions.

Conditions of Propeller Shaft

To achieve efficient functions, a propeller shaft requires the following:

  • high torsion strength
  • harder and harder
  • effectively combined
  • dynamically balanced
  • low thrust load

High torsional strength

They need to be made from a solid or hollow circular cross-section to obtain high torsional strength during operation.

Hard and rigid

These usually require stiff and rigid materials to make. Hence, they are made of excellent-quality steel and are induction hardened.

Effectively combined

They need to be connected very tightly when they are in operation. Therefore, they are usually welded using the submerged carbon dioxide welding process.

Dynamically balanced

Because the rotation factor can be significant at high speeds, the propeller shaft is tested on an electronic balancing machine.

Low thrust load

Because resonance is bad for shaft life. To avoid this phenomenon, they transmit excessive dynamic force to the end support of the shaft.

How Does Propeller Shaft Works?


What are propeller shafts?

Definition of the propeller shaft

1: A shaft with a screw propeller at the end transmitting power from the engine to the propeller. 2: a shaft that transmits power from a transmission to the rear axle of a motor vehicle: the drive shaft.

What is the function of a propeller shaft?

The function of the propeller shaft is to transmit torque between the transmission, transfer case, and driving axle. A propeller shaft makes it possible to connect two axes of rotation that are not exactly in the same plane.

What are the three types of propeller shafts?

Propeller shafts can be of three main types: tapered, split, or flanged. Tapered shafts are identified by taper numbers. Splined and flanged shafts are identified by SAE numbers. The lowest power output engine’s propeller shaft is forged as part of the crankshaft.

How many propeller shafts are there?

Functions of Propeller Shaft:

In some arrangements, two or three propeller shafts are used to make up the length. Some vehicles have the engine mounted at the front and drive the front wheels of the vehicle. Some other vehicles have the engine in the rear and drive the rear wheels.

How does a shaft work?

The driveshaft is the spinning tube that carries power from the engine to the differential at the rear of the vehicle. It does this by transmitting the spinning power from front to back. The release of torque from the transmission to the differential then transmits the torque to the wheels so that the vehicle can move forward.

What is the difference between a drive shaft and a propeller shaft?

In British English, the term “drive shaft” is limited to the transverse shaft that transmits power to the wheels, particularly the front wheels. The drive shaft connecting the gearbox to the rear differential is called the propeller shaft or prop shaft.

How propeller shaft is supported?

The propeller shaft is bolted to the main engine flywheel, which passes through the thrust block and then through the shaft tunnel. Here it is supported by shaft bearings before passing through the stern tube to drive the ship’s propeller. The shaft is made of forged steel, complete with a coupling flange.

Why propeller shaft is hollow?

Hollow shafts are lighter than solid shafts and can transmit the same torque as solid shafts of the same dimensions. Acceleration and deceleration of the hollow shaft also require less energy. Therefore, the use of hollow shafts in power transmission in the automotive industry has great potential.

What are the parts of a propeller?

The basic parts of a propeller are the blade, shank, hub, and leading edge. The blade is the arm of a propeller that runs from end to end. Most propellers have two or more of these. The shank is the thick part of the blade near the hub, which is attached to the propeller shaft.

How do you install a propeller shaft?

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