Cardan Joint – Universal Joint – Shaft Cross and Yoke

universal coupling, U-joint, Cardan joint, Spicer or Hardy Spicer joint, or Hooke's joint

Interactive animation of a Universal Joint, which demonstrates the interaction between the forks and the crosshead, to change the direction of rotation of the axis in a Cardan Axis.

Cardan Axis- Universal Joint

Basically, the Universal Joint is composed of two forks, sometimes called forks, ears, etc., and a cruciform piece called a crosshead. Each axis of the crosshead allows a fork to rotate around it. This combination allows the Cardan Shaft to change the direction of the rotation axis without changing the direction of rotation.


The interactive arrows allow you to change the speed of the axis rotation for easy viewing;

The left arrow slows down until the rotation stops;

– With the Universal Joint stopped, clicking the smaller arrows allows for smooth positioning;

Universal Joint, composed of two forks and a crosshead, element of the Cardan Axis

I’m working hard to convert the animations to HTML5, and with this one is no different, for now, please see the dynamics of a Universal Board in this video.

Eduardo Stefanelli

Engenheiro por profissão, professor por vocação