This article needs additional citations for verification. Cardan shaft is a mechanical component for transmitting torque and rotation, usually used to connect other components of a drive train that cannot be connected directly because of distance or the need to allow for relative movement between them. As torque cardano moto guzzi, drive shafts are subject to torsion and shear stress, equivalent to the difference between the input torque and the load. They must therefore be strong enough to bear the stress, while avoiding too much additional weight as that would in turn increase their inertia.
The term drive shaft first appeared during the mid 19th century. In Stover’s 1861 patent reissue for a planing and matching machine, the term is used to refer to the belt-driven shaft by which the machine is driven. The term is not used in his original patent. In the 1890s, the term began to be used in a manner closer to the modern sense. The pioneering automobile industry company, Autocar, was the first to use a drive shaft in a gasoline-powered car. Built in 1901, today this vehicle is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution. In front-engined, rear-drive vehicles, a longer drive shaft is also required to send power the length of the vehicle.
Two forms dominate: The torque tube with a single universal joint and the more common Hotchkiss drive with two or more joints. When the vehicle is stationary, the drive shaft does not rotate. A drive shaft connecting a rear differential to a rear wheel may be called a half-shaft. The name derives from the fact that two such shafts are required to form one rear axle. Early automobiles often used chain drive or belt drive mechanisms rather than a drive shaft. Some used electrical generators and motors to transmit power to the wheels.