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Ameridrives Application Profiles


Steel Mill Slab Caster

Product: Modified Americardan 3285 Universal Joints

Steel Mill Slab Caster

The original U-joints installed in this demanding application featured split-flanged yokes. The driven (segment) ends of the U-joints pass through the sidewall of the segment frame and position within 12" of a heat/water wall. The tight space constraints did not allow full access to the roller end of the U-joints. This resulted in mounting bolts that could not be tightened to the torque specifications.

Over time, the loose bolt connections between the spool and split-flange yoke (driven end) allowed the key to shift, causing the keyway and holes to become elongated in the mated flanges. This caused premature wear on the segment rollers, segment bearings, and flange yokes, resulting in uneven torque loads being transferred to other drives which over-torqued the next immediate segment, eventually causing the cross to fail within the flange yoke assembly. In some cases, slabs would have to be stopped inside the caster which required them to be cut out.

Ameridrive engineers’ extensive U-joint experience with steel mill applications allowed them to develop a creative new facing connection that solved the customer’s dilemma. The solution was an integral tapered key or face pad design for the roller end of the U-joints to replace the straight face key flange yokes. The new face pad configuration featured four raised, wedge-shaped integral keys and required only four mounting bolts versus the typical eight-bolt design. With the enhanced reliability of the new U-joint modification, the customer’s up-time increased and slab quality was improved.

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Crew/Suppy Vessels

Product: Americardan 3265 Universal Joint

crew suppy vessels

Four Model U3265 universal joints serve as the main drive shafts on two models of marine vessels used to ferry crews and supplies to drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Engineers from Ameridrives Power Transmission selected the noncatalogued U3265 series because it provided the required design life with the least amount of weight.

In this application, the drivetrain system is powered by Cummins diesel engines and connects to Hamilton Marine Waterjets through Twin Disc Marine Gears. Shaft systems varied in length from 196 to 240 inches, depending on engine location. Each shaft passed through a watertight bulkhead which required a sealing system to isolate each hull section in case of damage.

The challenging issue in this application was the length of the shafts and the position of the support bearing/bulkhead seal. The complete assembly required marine engineering expertise to select the correct layout and locations of components.

Because of approval requirements of the American Bureau of Shipping, each component was subjected to design review and destructive testing to assure they met established functional parameters.

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Auto Shredders

Product: Modified Americardan Model U3440 Universal Joints

Auto Shredder

A major international metals recycler was experiencing problems on their shredders due to universal joint damage caused by excessive torque generated during rotor jams. Repeated repair and replacement of the damaged universal joint cross and bearings required costly downtime.

When informed of the problem, Ameridrives Power Transmission application engineers went right to work on developing an overload protection solution. An Americarden Model U3440 universal joint was modified to incorporate a shear pin overload device. When a rotor jam occurs, the pins shear while protecting the drive system from expensive damage and lost production.

After clearing the jam, a maintenance crew can replace the pins and have the shredder operational in about an hour (compared to the previously required 2 days of downtime). The initial cost of the overload device was more than covered in the savings of downtime during the first overload.

The success with the installation of the first modified U3440 unit lead to additional universal joint orders for use on shredders at the company’s other locations. These follow-on universal joints featured driven and driver hubs manufactured with Ameriloc® shaft locking devices to secure adaptors to the shaft. The locking devices eliminate the need for a replacement hub when a motor is repaired or installed.

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