Axles are an essential element in providing the stability and strength that allows motorized vehicles to safely carry people, cargo, and their own bulk. These components are built to bear immense amounts of weight. However, overloading an axle beyond its capacity can cause it to warp or break. Jarring from potholes and other road obstacles also endanger the axle’s integrity.
The axle shafts used in vehicles—also called half shafts or CV axles—allow the transmission to transfer motion to the vehicle’s wheels. Axle shafts also regulate changes in drive between the differential sun wheel and rear hub. In a simple rear axle system, the road wheel attaches to the axle shaft, which is supported by bearings located in the axle’s casing. Movement from the wheel shifts the axle in the corresponding direction, guiding the wheels to the desired path.
Due to their importance, axle shafts require the right materials, machining processes, and thorough inspection techniques to safeguard the safety of passengers and cargo.
Materials and Methods Used to Manufacture Axle Shafts
Materials used to produce axle shafts must be tough to withstand the pressure and stresses caused by supporting heavy weights. Fatigue resistance and spline wear—the slow erosion of the metal teeth along the drive shaft that facilitates the transfer of motion from the transmission to the wheels—are also important characteristics for these components. Medium carbon alloys containing chromium, nickel, or molybdenum may be used to create axles and shafts that retain mechanical strength under immense stress.
Parts manufactured for specific makes and models of vehicles are usually made from high-grade steel. These axles are often designed to meet the following standards:
- SAE 1541
- SAE 1050
- SAE 1055
- SAE 1039
Steel axles are forged and heat treated via induction coils. By swiftly drawing the material through the electromagnetic coil, the heating and cooling of the material can be carefully controlled. In this way, engineers produce axle shafts featuring:
- Hard, solid surfaces
- A more pliable center core
- High ductility to improve axle function
- Extended equipment lifetime
Typically, the hardness depth for original equipment axle shafts ranges between 0.100- 0.180 inches.
Axle Shafts from Avon Machining
At Avon Machining, we possess the capabilities to create shafts with diameters up to 18 inches and lengths of up to 80 inches, including steel axle shafts with bearing-quality surfaces. After production, our in-house inspection lab uses a variety of specialized quality testing methods to ensure only the most reliable parts leave our facilities.
Our Shelby Township, Michigan facility is fully backed by Speyside Equity, a private equity firm that ensures our long-term profitability and continued operations. This partnership allows us to deliver superior components, services, and metal cutting technologies to our clients on a continuous basis. In the future, this business relationship will help us expand our current capabilities and increase our proficiency far beyond what our competition can offer.
Complete Your Axle Shaft Project with Avon Machining
Axle shafts are an integral part of reliable vehicles. Using the appropriate materials and methods ensures strong parts and satisfied end users. Trust your production to Avon Machining—our high-tech equipment and knowledge allow us to produce results that other manufacturers cannot replicate.
Learn more about the benefits of our precision parts machining capabilities. Contact our representatives to discuss your next project.