February 2019

Considerations for Material Selection for Stainless Steel Universal Joints

Two of the generally accepted international classification systems for stainless steel grades are the American AISI/SAE system, as defined by the AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute) and the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers); and the German DIN/EN system (by the German Institute for Standardization). For the purpose of this post, we will be mentioning the AISI system, with the DIN/EN standard equivalents shown as reference.
 

300 SERIES - AUSTENITIC STAINLESS STEELS

Austenitic alloys are non-magnetic and, in general, provide a good combination of mechanical strength, machinability and corrosion resistance. 

While they cannot be hardened by heat treating, some can be hardened by work hardening. Belden Universal often uses 300 series stainless steel for the yokes of the universal joints. Pins and Blocks can also be manufactured from these materials if requested, however, the relatively soft 300 series typically does not work well for contact surfaces.

The AISI 303 [DIN 1.4305] is the standard stainless-steel material of choice for the yokes of Belden universal joints. It offers medium corrosion resistance. The sulfur content in this stainless alloy makes it ideal for machineability, though increases welding difficulty.

The AISI 304 [1.4301] offers improved corrosion resistance over the 303 grade, however, it is not considered a standard stainless material for Belden’s universal joints since it is not as easy to machine as the 303.

The AISI 316/316L [1.4404] is Belden’s standard stainless grade for highly corrosion-resistant joints. Yokes, as well as pins and blocks, are made from 316L since an environment that requires such a high level of corrosion resistance would typically not allow the use of boot covers for protection of the pins and blocks.

316L is the low (L) carbon version of 316, making it more suitable for welding and offering slightly improved corrosion resistance but delivering slightly less strength. This is typically countered by the addition of Nitrogen, resulting in the common dual certification of “316/316L” with the strength of the 316L meeting that of the 316 steel.
 

400 SERIES - MARTENSITIC AND FERRITIC STAINLESS STEELS

Ferritic Alloys are magnetic and, like austenitic stainless steels, cannot be hardened. They are also difficult to weld. A commonly used ferritic stainless steel is AISI 430 which offers great corrosion resistance, rivaling that of the 304 steel.

Martensitic Alloys are also magnetic but can be hardened by heat treating which considerably improves their strength. Since components are more difficult to machine in the heat-treated stage, Belden typically first machines then heat treats the joints. We heat treat, then grind / ream the features and contact faces to the finished size. 

AISI 416 [1.4305] is a martensitic, magnetic steel. It is Belden’s standard stainless-steel grade for the pins & blocks of universal joints. While its sulfur content makes it unsuitable for welding, it provides superior machinability and can be hardened by heat treating.

Since it offers corrosion resistance in normal atmosphere but corrodes when exposed to humidity or water over extended periods of time, pins and blocks should be outfitted with a lubricant-retaining boot. This way, the friction-bearing pin & blocks are lubricated and not directly exposed to the surrounding elements.

The combination of the booted 416 pins & blocks with yokes machined from 303 or 316L stainless steel provides a good material pairing that can withstand highly corrosive conditions.

AISI 420 [1.4021/1.4028] is also a martensitic, magnetic steel. Due to its higher Chromium content, this material provides higher corrosion resistance than the 416-steel grade. It can be used for both the yokes as well as the pins & blocks and accommodate heat treatment on all components.
 

600 SERIES - PROPRIETARY STAINLESS STEELS

The most commonly used proprietary steels used by Belden is precipitation-hardened stainless steels. They are used when the corrosion resistance of 416 or 420 stainless steel is insufficient and the 303 or 316 stainless steels are not strong enough.

The AISI 630, often referred to as 17-4 PH (17% Cr / 4%Ni) is a martensitic, magnetic steel. It is Belden’s most commonly specified precipitation hardened stainless steel, commonly used in aerospace applications.

It provides good machinability prior to heat treating to high strength and hardness. Resistance increases with aging temperatures used for the heat treatment process. It is highly resistant to stress-corrosion cracking, offering corrosion resistance comparable to that of AISI 304. It is, however, not suited for chloride environments (e.g. pool or sea water).

15-5 PH is also frequently used, offering even higher toughness than the 17-4 PH.
 

DUPLEX AND SUPER DUPLEX STAINLESS STEELS

Duplex and Super Duplex Stainless Steels have a mixed (duplex) martensitic and austenitic microstructure. They combine excellent corrosion resistance with high material strength. Their pitting-corrosion resistance is especially outstanding. Their strength and corrosion resistance increase with higher Chromium and Nickel content. A number often used to reflect pitting-corrosion resistance is the PREN number, calculated as:  PREN = %Cr + 3.3 x %Mo + 16 x %N.

Duplex steels used by Belden Universal:

  • S32205 [1.4462] (2205/ F51), the standard Duplex steel with PREN of 35
  • S32750 [1.4410] (F53), A Super Duplex steel with PREN of >40
  • S32750 [1.4501] (F55), A Super Duplex steel with PREN of >40 and higher strength & Elongation than F53

 

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to call us at (708)344-4600, or, email us at info@beldenuniversal.com

Universal Joint Types by Central Connector Design Style

Belden Universal categorizes its universal joints based on basic central-connector design styles. Each of these basic universal deisgn types can be further customized by additional design-engineering modifications, special materials, finishes, boots and lubricants.  
 

Friction Bearing (Pin & Block) Design: Heavy-Duty, High-Strength and Leveler-Strength Universal Joints

The friction (plain) bearing universal joint design typically features a pin & block center connector, with large & small pins, snap rings and optional bushings or bearings. Friction bearing joints are usually simple, cost efficient and can carry relatively high loads at low bearing speeds.

  • Belden's Heavy-Duty universal joints are high-quality joints for a variety of standard applications.They are best-suited for handling moderate torque and RPM.
  • Belden’s High Strength universal joints are recommended for high-torque applications. They are suitable to accommodate larger shaft diameters.
  • Leveler Strength universal joints are designed for extreme torque applications, with reinforced yoke-ear profile and enhanced mechanical properties that further increase the strength of the joints.

 

      

 

High-Strength universal joint with short pin/long design and rivet   Heavy-Duty universal joint with large pin/small design with snap ring

 

Leveler-Strength universal joint with hardened & ground yoke ears, pins & blocks
 

Low-Friction (Needle-Bearing) Design: Cross & Bearing and Pin & Block + Needle Bearing Universal Joints

Needle Bearing joints are equipped with pre-lubricated needle-roller bearings that reduce friction and assist with minimizing and maintaining play and backlash over longer periods of time. They deliver superior lifetime at continuous operations and high RPM.

  • Cross & bearing joints are Belden's most commonly requested needle-bearing components. They offer lower weight, less components and lower friction than the pin & block design.
  • The pin & block needle-bearing design has a larger contact area between block and yokes that is typically equipped with a bronze washer. This increases friction under higher angles but at the same time provides a better bearing support for the side loads created in such operating conditions.

 


 

 

 


 

Needle-Bearing universal joint
with roller-bearings and connector cross 
  Hybrid Needle-Bearing universal joint
with roller bearings + pins & blocks

Current Openings

CNC Machinist (Programmer / Operator)

Belden Universal is seeking a highly skilled CNC Operator / Programmer for the power transmission industry in Hillside, IL. The position is responsible for programming, setting up, and operating CNC machines. Belden Universal offers competitive pay commensurate with experience, benefits package, a 401-K match, 10 paid company holidays and 4 paid personal days per year. Come join us in our newly constructed, air conditioned, clean, and well-organized production facility 12 miles west of downtown Chicago.

CNC Programmer / Operator Job Duties:

  • Plans machining by studying work orders, blueprints, materials, specifications, locations of surfaces, and machining parameters; interpreting geometric dimensions and tolerances (GD&T).
  • Programs multi-spindle lathes by entering instructions, including zero and reference points; setting tool registers, offsets, compensation, and conditional switches; calculating requirements, including basic math, geometry, and trigonometry; proving part programs.
  • Sets-up lathes by installing and adjusting various types of tools.
  • Loads feed mechanism by lifting stock into position.
  • Verifies settings by measuring positions, first-run part, and sample workpieces; adhering to international standards.
  • Maintains specifications by observing drilling, grooving, and cutting, including turning, facing, knurling and thread chasing operations; taking measurements; detecting malfunctions; troubleshooting processes; adjusting and reprogramming controls; sharpening and replacing worn tools; adhering to quality assurance procedures and processes.
  • Maintains safe operations by adhering to safety procedures and regulations.
  • Maintains equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; following manufacturer's instructions; troubleshooting malfunctions.
  • Documents actions by completing production and quality logs.

Skills/Qualifications:

  • G-Code Programming
  • Conceptual Skills
  • Process Improvement
  • Verbal Communication
  • Functional and Technical Skills
  • Controls and Instrumentation
  • Tooling, Coordination

 

Belden Universal - Hillside, IL

Belden Inc. is a forward thinking company committed to bringing the newest innovations to our customers. If you are a goal driven, solution-based individual who can also work in a team-approached engineering atmosphere, we want you on our team.  For more information on Belden and job opportunities, please send your resume to:

Belden Inc.
Attn: H/R
4100 Madison Street
Hillside, IL 60162
Fax: 708-344-0245
Email: hiring@beldenuniversal.com

Belden Universal is seeking a Quality Control Inspector to ensure our customers’ requirements are not only being met but also exceeded. We are seeking a motivated, detail-oriented candidate that has had prior experience in an ISO 9001/AS 9100 certified manufacturing company.  A successful Quality Control Inspector at Belden Universal will be proficient with measuring techniques, blueprint reading and GD&T; CMM experience is a plus.

Belden Universal offers competitive pay commensurate with experience, benefits package, a 401-K match, 10 paid company holidays and 4 paid personal days per year.  Come join us in our newly constructed, air conditioned, clean, and well-organized production facility 12 miles west of downtown Chicago.  

Quality Inspector Job Duties:

  • First piece, in process and final inspection
  • Visual inspection of product for any defects, burrs and surface finishes
  • Create inspection specifications for blue prints
  • Assist CMM programmers in operating
  • Gage management
  • Develop work instructions as needed
  • Work with Quality Manager for PPAP information (cert packs, FAIR)
  • Assist in root cause analysis of quality issues
  • Overtime and Saturday shifts as required.

Skills/Qualifications:

  • Understanding of mechanical inspection "hands-on" such as micrometers, comparators, height gauges, bore gauges, digital comparators, etc.
  • Ability to read blue print and understand GD&T
  • 3-5 years’ experience working in quality or manufacturing in a CNC machining environment.
  • Good communication and organization skills
  • Previous experience working in ISO9001 or AS9100 is a plus
  • CMM programming experience is a plus

Belden Universal is a forward thinking company committed to bringing the newest innovations to our customers. If you are a goal driven, solution-based individual who can also work in a team-approached engineering atmosphere, we want you on our team. 

 

For more information on Belden and job opportunities, please send your resume to:

Belden Tools, Inc. (Human Resources)

4100 Madison Street
Hillside, IL 60162

Fax: 708-344-0245
Email: hiring@beldenuniversal.com

Belden Universal is seeking a Mechanical Design Engineer for the power transmission industry in Hillside, IL. The position is responsible for completing the design and development of new products as well as maintaining existing product designs and related documentation. Candidates should be capable of conceptual design coupled with a hands-on approach to development and have the ability to initiate and manage multiple design assignments in a cross-functional team environment.

Belden Universal offers competitive pay commensurate with experience, benefits package, a 401-K match, 10 paid company holidays and 4 paid personal days per year.  Come join us in our newly constructed, air conditioned, clean, and well-organized production facility 12 miles west of downtown Chicago.  

Design Engineer Job Duties:

  • Design universal joints and drive shaft assemblies to meet new and existing customer expectations.
  • Understand manufacturing processes, incorporate processes into designs that can be successfully manufactured.
  • Create and maintain well documented designs.
  • Analyze and interpret technical data.
  • Manage all aspects of design projects, as assigned
  • Operate in a cross-functional team environment, both domestic and international.
  • Other duties as assigned by Design Manager.

Skills/Qualifications:

  • AAS degree in Mechanical Design Technology or related field of study
  • Understanding of basic engineering principles
  • AS9100 and Aerospace experience a plus
  • Must be highly creative, self-motivated and able to work independently as well as with within cross functional teams
  • Demonstrate abilities in design analysis and problem solving techniques
  • Demonstrate ability to visualize new concepts and develop them into 3D models experience a plus, proficiency with Solidworks preferred
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of GD&T principles a plus
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite

Belden Universal is a forward thinking company committed to bringing the newest innovations to our customers. If you are a goal driven, solution-based individual who can also work in a team-approached engineering atmosphere, we want you on our team. 

 

For more information on Belden and job opportunities, please send your resume to:

Belden Tools, Inc. (Human Resources)

4100 Madison Street
Hillside, IL 60162

Fax: 708-344-0245
Email: hiring@beldenuniversal.com

Belden Universal is seeking a Mechanical Engineer for the power transmission industry in Hillside, IL. The position is responsible for creating routings and workorders as well as maintaining and closing existing work orders. Candidates should be capable of mastering the production schedule, initiating and managing multiple assignments in a cross-functional team environment. Belden Universal offers competitive pay commensurate with experience, benefits package, a 401-K match, 10 paid company holidays and 4 paid personal days per year. Come join us in our newly constructed, air conditioned, clean, and well-organized production facility 12 miles west of downtown Chicago.

Manufacturing Engineer Job Duties:

  • Open, close, maintain production workorders
  • Understand our manufacturing processes, incorporate processes into routings that can be economically manufactured
  • Review of backorder report; communicate status of items & tasks to teams
  • Analyze and interpret technical data
  • Operate in a cross-functional team environment, both domestic and international.
  • Other duties as assigned by Production Manager.

Skills/Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering or related field of study
  • Understanding of the Principles of Production
  • AS9100 and Aerospace experience a plus
  • Must be highly resourceful, self-motivated and able to work independently as well as with within cross functional teams
  • Demonstrate abilities in problem solving techniques
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite

Belden Universal is a forward thinking company committed to bringing the newest innovations to our customers. If you are a goal driven, solution-based individual who can also work in a team-approached engineering atmosphere, we want you on our team. 

 

For more information on Belden and job opportunities, please send your resume to:

Belden Tools, Inc. (Human Resources)

4100 Madison Street
Hillside, IL 60162

Fax: 708-344-0245
Email: hiring@beldenuniversal.com

Contact

 
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info@beldenuniversal.com

(708)344-4600

4100 Madison Street

Hillside, IL 60162

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