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Tech Info - Shaft Collars

Clamp collar on steering columnSingle or double piece clamp style shaft collars are used to provide axial location on, or for, shafts. I have found them particularly useful when trying to design shafts and axles which require a minimum of lathe turning operations. The collars can perform the same axial location function as steps or shoulders machined into the shaft and can be used, for example, to locate unstepped parallel shafts or axles against their supporting bearings. The clamp style collars are removable and position adjustable which allows adjustment of a shaft on assembly. They are usually non marking.

 

Clamp style shaft collarI have mainly used single piece collars which are designed to be slid onto a parallel shaft from a free end, double piece collars are also available which can be assembled on more difficult to access shafts. Steel, stainless steel, aluminium and plastic collars can be obtained.

The axial load holding capacity of collars can be considerable, for example a 12 mm steel collar can have an axial load carrying capacity in excess of 500kgf - it should be noted that the degree to which the tightening cap screw is torqued has a significant effect on load carrying capacity and manufacturers will give guidance on this - so check the full technical specifications for the collar and its assembly if heavy axial loads are expected. For less arduous duty the tightening torque is less critical as even modest hand tightening with a hex key will hold the collar in position in many applications.

Typical applications in our designs are for locating final drive axles and for positioning and holding steering columns. The images show 12 and 16 mm collars on steering columns and drive axles.


 

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