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Drive shaft

A drive shaft is a mechanical car parts for transferring power from the engine or motor to the point where useful work is applied. Most engines or motors deliver power as torque through rotary motion: this is extracted from the linear motion of pistons in a reciprocating engine; water driving a water wheel; or forced gas or water in a turbine. From the point of delivery, the components of power transmission form the drive train.

Drive shaft is carrier of torque: it is subject to torsion and shear stress, which represents the difference between the input force and the load. They thus need to be strong enough to bear the stress, without imposing too great an additional inertia by virtue of the weight of the shaft.

Automotive drive shafts

Vehicles

Every automobile today use rigid drive shafts to deliver power from a transmission to the wheels. A pair of short drive shafts is commonly used to send power from a central differential, transmission, or transaxle to the wheels.

In front-engined, rear-drive vehicles, a longer drive shaft is also required to send power the length of the vehicle. Two forms dominate: The torque tube with a single universal joint and the Hotchkiss drive with two or more joints.

Early automobiles often used chain drive or belt drive mechanisms rather than a drive shaft. Some used electrical generators and motors to transmit power to the wheels.

A car parts shaft connecting the gearbox to a rear differential is called a propeller shaft, or prop-shaft. A prop-shaft assembly consists of a propeller shaft, a slip joint and one or more universal joints.

Where the engine and axles are separated from each other, as on four-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles, it is the propeller shaft that serves to transmit the drive force generated by the engine to the axles.

A drive shaft connecting a rear differential to a rear wheel may be called a half shaft. The name derives from the fact that two such shafts are required to form one rear axle.

There are different types of drive shafts in Automotive Industry:

- 1 piece drive shaft

- 2 piece drive shaft

- 3 Slip in Tube drive shaft

Advantages

 -4  Drive system is less likely to become jammed or broken, a common problem with chain-driven bicycles

 - 5 The use of a gear system creates a smoother and more consistent pedaling motion

- 6 The rider cannot become dirtied from chain grease or injured by the chain from "Chain bite", which occurs when clothing or even a body part catches between the chain and a sprocket.

- 7 Lower maintenance than a chain system when the drive shaft is enclosed in a tube, the common convention

-8  More consistent performance. Dynamic Bicycles claims that a drive shaft bicycle consistently delivers 94% efficiency, whereas a chain-driven bike can deliver anywhere from 75-97% efficiency based on condition.

-9  Greater clearance: with the absence of a derailleur or other low-hanging machinery, the bicycle has nearly twice the ground clearance

-10  For bicycle rental companies, a drive-shaft bicycle is less prone to be stolen, since the shaft is non-standard, and both noticeable and non-maintainable. This type of bicycle is in use in several major cities of Europe, where there have been large municipal funded, public (and automatic) bicycle rental projects.

Disadvantages

- A drive shaft system weighs more than a chain system, usually 1-2 pounds heavier

- Many of the advantages claimed by drive shaft's proponents can be achieved on a chain-driven bicycle, such as covering the chain and gears with a metal or plastic cover

- Wheel removal can be complicated in some designs

- Use of lightweight derailleur gears with a high number of ratios is impossible, although hub gears can be used

 

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