What is a Flexible Shaft?
A flexible shaft transmits rotary motion much like a solid shaft. But, it can be routed over, under, and around obstacles that would make using a solid shaft impractical. A “Flexible Shaft Assembly” consists of a rotating shaft (sometimes called a core) with metal end fittings for attachment to mating parts. A protective outer casing is used when necessary. This casing has its own fittings (called ferrules) that keep it stationary during use.
A flexible shaft is a highly effective means of transmitting rotary motion and is more efficient than universal joints, gears, sprockets and chains, or belts and pulleys. It is typically lower in cost than these other devices and offers the added benefit of compensating for misalignment's in your system that can greatly reduce cost and assembly time.
Typical Flexible Shaft Construction
Flexible shaft assemblies are successfully used in everything from 787 airplanes to toys.
Their exceptionally long lives are not affected by continuous operation at speeds up to 50,000 RPM.
They can withstand temperatures ranging from -300 degrees to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some of the major industries using them are: