What is Shaft and What is Axle

In this article we learn the what is shaft, types of shaft, what is axle and the difference between shaft and axle.

What is Shaft?

A shaft is a rotating machine component used to transmit power from one component to another.

It provides an axis of rotation or oscillation for components like gears, pulleys, sprockets, flywheels, etc.

Power is transmitted to the shaft by some tangential force and the resulting torque installed in the shaft transmits power to the connected machine shaft.

Since the tangential forces act on the shafts, they are usually made round cross-sections.

Its cross-section can be solid or sometimes hollow.

Types of shafts

Shafts are generally divided into two groups which are as follows:

  1. Transmission shaft
  2. Machine shaft.

1. Transmission shaft

The transmission shaft is used to transmit power between the source and the machine absorbing power.

These shafts contain machine components like pulleys, gears, flywheels, etc.

These are the shaft bending and torsional moments.

Transmission Shaft

2. Machine shaft

The machine shaft itself forms an integral part of the machine.

These shafts are also based on bending and torsional moment.

For example cam-shaft, crankshaft, machine spindle, etc.

Machine Shaft

what is Axle?

An axle is a non-rotating or stationary machine component that has no torque.

It is used to support rotating machine components such as pulleys, brake drums, wheels, etc.

Although similar to the axle shaft, it does not transmit torque; But it only has to deal with the moment of bending.

Difference Between Shaft and Axle

Sr No Shaft Axle
1 It is a rotating element of a machine. It is a non-rotating or stationary element of a machine.
2 It is subjected to bending and torsional moment. It is subjected to only a bending moment.
3 It is used to transmit the torque and to support the elements like gears, pulleys, sprockets, etc. It is used to support elements like pulleys, brake drums, wheels, etc.
4 For example Machine shaft, transmission shaft, etc. For example Front axle in 4-wheelers, wheel axle in 2-wheelers, etc.

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