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Customized U Joints, Driveshafts, and Beyond

Submitted by ralf on

Are you searching for an innovative u joint prototype or driveline solution for a new machine or vehicle in development? Belden Universal would love to help with your R&D project!

We have design engineers and highly skilled machinists on staff to help your product development team come up with the most effective and economical solution.

Belden will be your ideal partner from prototyping through full production. We have machining cells dedicated to both short-run (1 pc and up) as well as long run (up to 10,000 pcs) production.

Does your design need special fixturing or tooling? We have additive manufacturing capabilities in-house to enable quick iteration on fit, form, function, and fixturing. With our versatile CNC turning equipment, we can be your machining partner for components beyond u joints as well.

There are many approaches to new universal joint and driveline design, but we would recommend starting with one of our many existing standard products and customizing the hubs and lengths to fit your application. Read on to learn more about various customization options to bring your prototype universal joint or prototype driveshaft to life.

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Let’s walk through the prototyping process step by step:

Step 1: Select the base design for your universal joint

Do you need a Plain Bearing or a Needle Bearing design? We have more detail on the distinction between the two designs: Plain Bearing vs. Needle Bearing U-Joints

Step 2: Select your End Hub Configuration

Belden offers a wide variety of end hub configurations. The six most conventional hub types, in either male or female, are available in inch or metric sizes. However, we can customize the hub to whatever configuration you require for your shaft connection.


Step 3: Select the Material

We offer an extended selection of standard and special materials, delivering increased strength, improved wear, corrosion resistance and other qualities necessary for your application:

  • Alloy steel 1144, 4130, and many others
  • AISI 303, 304, 316L, 416, 420, 17-4, 15-5 Stainless Steel
  • Aluminum, Bronze & Brass Alloys
  • Duplex Stainless Steel; e.g. S32760
  • Super Alloys; e.g. Inconel
  • Titanium & others

Step 4: Select any plating, surface treatments, or other special manufacturing processes required

All materials can be plated or additionally treated to improve corrosion resistance or provide other functionality. Some options for plating and surface treatment procedures:

  • Zinc plating
  • Nickel plating
  • Zinc-Nickel plating
  • Cadmium plating (for aerospace steels)
  • Black Oxide treatment
  • Electro Polishing

Step 5: Are any special quality documents required?

As an AS9100 machine shop, we produce our products to the highest standards. Please communicate any special documentation or quality requirements to Belden as early as possible in the development process to ensure expedient and compliant development of your prototypes and accuracy of the final cost.

We hope this guide to the prototyping process can be a valuable resource as you consider prototyping universal joints and drive shafts for your new or existing engineering project. Please do not hesitate to contact our sales and application engineering team to assist you in the prototyping process!

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