What Is a Spline?
Typically made of stainless steel, carbon steel, alloy steel, or aluminum alloy, a spline is a shaft that features a series of equally spaced teeth that can be slotted into a mating piece for the purposes of transmitting torque or serving as a means of anti-rotation. They can be internal or external and comprise a variety of tooth shapes depending on function. Rotary devices such as gears can also be fitted onto the spline to serve a variety of functions. Splines are primarily found in rotating mechanisms such as drive shafts.
What Is Spline Milling?
Spline milling is one of the processes of machining grooves into a chunk of raw material to create the teeth of a spline. The following steps outline the process of spline milling:
- The chunk of raw material that will become the shaft of the spline is fitted into the indexing fixture of the milling equipment.
- Side milling cutters are mounted onto the arbor of the fitting equipment with a spacer and shims inserted between them, depending on the desired width of the spline.
- The arbor is mounted onto the spindle of the milling machine, and the cutters are centered over the raw material that will become the shaft of the spline.
- The splines are cut into the shaft by a process called straddle milling. The indexing fixture holds the shaft of the spline steady while a groove is cut by the rotating milling cutters along its length. Depending on the depth of the spline, multiple passes along the same groove may be needed. Multiple passes also help to guarantee uniformity throughout the spline.
How to Cut Splines on a Shaft?
Spline milling is one of several processes of spline cutting, which is the process of machining teeth into internal or external splines. Spline cutting can be used to create shafts, gears, and other mechanical components that mesh into one another and allow power to be transferred throughout a mechanical system.
There are four main spline cutting techniques:
Spline Cutting with Avon Machining
For more than 40 years, Avon Machining has been industry’s go-to source for all of its metal cutting needs, including spline cutting. Our state-of-the-art hobbing and cutting tools ensure everything we machine meets industry regulations such as NBN-DIN – BS-AGMA or NF.
Whether it’s external splines, internal splines, helix angles on splines, involute flanks, or straight flanks, we can cut it all. We provide the following cutting processes at our Michigan facility:
- Rack rolling
- Shaper cutting
The splines we cut can be found in a variety of industries, including automotive, agriculture, aerospace, and construction, and in products such as appliances, custom hardware, pneumatics, hydraulics, and liquid control. We are also capable of machining OEM parts.
At Avon Machining, we’re dedicated to providing our clients with quality machining services that serve a variety of applications. Because our materials are sourced exclusively from reputable suppliers, we can guarantee the integrity of all of the parts that we machine. For more information on how we can service your machining needs, contact us today.
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