Joints are modern transmission elements that can be used in industrial production at any time and in almost any place. These types of drive transmission or drive direction deflection can be easily implemented in a very special way in machine joints or joints on components. In this article we would like to give you some details about all joints that can be used today in almost exclusively all mechanical drive units or technical solutions. There are many areas of application in industry where changes of direction have to be implemented by means of articulated joints made of the most varied materials. Particularly high demands are placed on the connectors, which must be characterised by increasingly precise transmission margins. In the past, the subject of "play" on joints on machines and technical equipment was not a major problem because the required tolerances were far from being as high as they are today. What exactly is a joint that is installed in machines and technical equipment and what tasks must these joints perform? From these and many other questions we would like to go into more detail. We would like to start with the task of joints? A joint is a component that must be attached to another component in order to transmit a power transmission to another connected component. This may not even sound particularly difficult, but it places special demands on these force-transmitting elements. By combining three components, the force-transmitting component, the joint and the force-transmitting component, they have to be connected so firmly and yet flexibly that maximum effect can be achieved while creating a minimum of "play". The joint on a machine part has to deflect one direction of force in order to be transferred in another direction. Special joints have been developed for this change of direction, which must meet very specific requirements. In mechanical engineering today, countless joints are used to deflect and transmit movements, thus enabling power transmission. In the following article we will discuss the different joint materials that can be used and installed in technical systems and machines.
The steel joints
Steel joints are probably the most widely used industrial joints, which are installed on machines, equipment and technical installations. At the same time, these gel cards have special properties that are often used. These steel joints are particularly inexpensive and are completely sufficient for most of the requirements. Of course they are not really corrosion resistant and must be provided with a protective coating to prevent them from being destroyed or damaged by corrosion. Basically, these inexpensive surface treatments are always made of nickel or even a thin layer of chrome, which is rarely used. Such steel joints always have two fastening options. On one side, one component can be screwed on and on the second, the other component can be screwed on. In between there is the joint or the joint compensator, which does not allow any play in the axial direction, but is mounted rotatably to a certain degree in the radial direction. Thus a power transmission can take place, but still has no axial play and is not a rigid connection. This is exactly what steel joints are made for. The construction of steel joints is usually always very similar and only minor differences can be found. However, such a joint always consists of a kind of ball-and-socket joint, which allows a certain amount of play. This ball head ends in a ball head socket. The ball fits exactly into the ball head socket, so that no play is allowed. They are usually secured in position by a clamping ring or another permissible connection, which also permits loosening. Thus, these steel joints can be easily mounted and dismounted again if necessary.
The stainless steel joints
Let us now turn to the stainless steel joints. These are an extension to a material called steel, which has been made so resistant to rust and corrosion by a certain alloy. These joints made of stainless steel are welcome helpers in machines and equipment that have to be used at sea, for example, and that come into contact with extremely salty water and therefore have to be extremely protected in order not to fall victim to corrosion. Also in the chemical industry these stainless steel joints have to be installed to divert forces and at the same time they have to be extremely resistant to acids and alkalis and many other substances. Stainless steel joints meet exactly this requirement. They are either made of an alloy known as V2A or V4A. The V2A version is resistant to normal water and humidity. The construction is in principle the same as for the steel joints. Such a joint always consists of a fastening part on one side and a ball head, a socket and a discharge side. The next component can be screwed to this side. In between is the ball head and the ball socket. These are precisely matched to each other and have very little play. But they are still not rigid connections and allow changes of direction even at a limited angle. These joints made of stainless steel are also secured with a stainless steel clamp, which is inserted into the socket after the ball head has been inserted.
The plastic joints
In the last section, we come to the plastic joints. These joints are made of plastic or synthetic material and are characterized by their lightness. The structure of a plastic joint is essentially the same as that of the steel or stainless steel joints. Especially the material plastic has gained more and more importance in recent years. The properties of plastic have been further developed and the technical requirements have become more and more stringent. Today, joints made of plastic meet exactly these requirements. The material is extremely light and can therefore be used in applications where weight is of the essence. Especially in model making or other filigree applications, such plastic joints combine two important features. On the one hand, the material is very light and durable and on the other hand, it is very cost-effective to produce. So it is an optimal material to produce joints for model making. However, joints made of plastics are also being used more and more in medical technology and the loads on these power transmission elements are also increasing. A plastic joint is of course constructed in a similar way to a steel or stainless steel joint. Such an element also consists of a mounting bracket on one side, then it borders on a ball (the actual joint) and then ends in the ball socket. This also has a fastening possibility again, which makes it possible to be screwed to another component. The assembly of such joints and the securing of the rod end in the socket is usually made possible by "clipping in".