The literature on the internal forces in Cardan joints, which is sparse, tacitly assumes the vanishing of certain force components. For a joint of ideal proportions the torque transmission has been analyzed, but the force transmission has been only partially developed. In this investigation the displacement analysis and static force and torque analysis of a Cardan joint with manufacturing tolerances has been derived. The forces have been shown to be statically indeterminate by a degree of three. An experiment was undertaken to check on the validity of the assumed vanishing of the abovementioned force components. For the particular joint tests this assumption was not valid. Based on the displacement analysis, which includes the axial sliding at the joints in the presence of manufacturing errors, optimum tolerances can be determined in the design stage. Further experimentation is recommended in order to determine representative magnitudes of the abovementioned axial joint forces in joints of varying constructions and sizes. Together with the static analysis which has been developed in this investigation this will permit the sizing of universal joints in the design stage.

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