When a multi-role armoured vehicle was put to the test in a simulated climate chamber earlier this year, it didn’t meet its mark. An undersized joint, unable to handle the torque and rpm of the diesel engine; and a harsh operating environment temperature inside the engine compartment proved to be the cause of the premature failure.
The assembly originally specified a standard 32 mm needle bearing drive shaft with stainless steel yokes and a quick release hub feature. It was to connect the diesel engine and the compressor for the air conditioning.
To fix the problem, the company called in Belden, Inc., a precision universal joint manufacturer and supplier of custom drive shaft assemblies for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) multi-role military vehicles for extreme environments.
Belden?s engineers redesigned the drive shafts. The shafts now include a larger, heavy-duty bearing that is sealed and equipped with a lubricant that can handle a greater range of operating temperatures. The bearing seal better retains lubrication during longer periods of extreme operation. The stainless steel yokes incorporate a custom profile and hub, and a quick release feature. The needle bearing universal joint gives precise positioning and can operate continuously at high speeds. The joint has rigid axial stiffness for push/pull loads and can handle higher angles and rpm.
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