Custom flexible shafts for automotive applications

25th April 2019
Alex Lynn

Designer and manufacturer of flexible shafts and related assemblies, S.S. White Technologies, has announced their flexible shaft solutions for automotive industry applications. Flexible shafts are a technology that transmit rotary motion much like a solid shaft, but can be routed over, under, and around obstacles that would make using a solid shaft impractical. 

Flexible shafts are used in a variety of automotive applications, including in power seats, power sliding doors, pedal adjuster systems, and power rear lift gates, among others. S.S. White provides customers with custom flexible shaft solutions designed for specific applications, all backed by S.S. White’s experience and expertise.

Among the many automotive applications for which S.S. White flexible shafts are used is to transmit rotary motion generated by electric motors in various ‘powered’ amenities in vehicles. The most common application of S.S. White flexible shafts in this area is in power seats. This is one example of how flexible shafts can be widely customised to fit their application, as the shafts in this application are specialised ‘flocked’ shafts, which are coated in flocked yarn to dampen the noise created during operation – a critical feature in the automotive industry. 

In addition, compared to the use of rigid shafts, flexible shafts used in power seats feature a number of advantages. The assembly process is easier with flexible shafts, and, due to their flexibility, flexible shafts give the movement of the power seats a greater degree of smoothness compared to rigid shafts. 

Flexible shafts are the preferred rotary motion technology in many automotive applications because they help eliminate alignment problems, are less costly in terms of installation and needed parts, and they provide greater design freedom than rigid shaft technologies.

S.S. White provides flexible shaft assemblies as part of a custom solution. Every application in which a flexible shaft would be beneficial is different, and S.S. White not only manufactures the flexible shaft technologies, but also provides the technical expertise to create solutions to engineering challenges.

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