What is a Shaft Collar and How Does it Work?


Shaft collars hold and position mechanical components around a shaft or mount shafts, tubes, and pipes onto flat surfaces, Available in a variety of styles and from numerous material types, shaft collar selection depends heavily on the details of the intended application.

Stafford Manufacturing is a premier manufacturer of shaft collars, clamps, and related mechanical components. This blog will explain shaft collars in more detail to help users make informed decisions when sourcing these critical components.


How a Shaft Collar Works

Commonly found in power transmission applications, shaft collars are ring-shaped plastic or metal devices that clamp around a shaft. The purpose of the collar is usually to hold motor components, gear assemblies, sprockets, bearings, and other parts in place and sometimes facilitate their proper movement. The collars may specifically locate components, keep them appropriately spaced, or limit their movement. Shaft collars may also be used to connect one end of the shaft itself to a part or surface.

The simplest shaft collars use set screws that tighten into the shaft to hold the collar in place. While these collars still see some use, the screws tend to mar the shaft which makes it difficult to remove and reposition the collars. Most modern shaft collars use a clamp that holds to the shaft. Clamp screws tighten the clamp around the shaft without the need to dig into the shaft itself.

There are multiple types of shaft collars, each suited to different purposes. Some of the most common types of shaft collars include:

  • Hinge shaft collars have an open hinge on one side and a clamp screw on the other, enabling them to be easily assembled anywhere on the shaft. They are completely self-contained and eliminate the risk of dropping or losing screws.
  • One-piece shaft collars feature improved performance, allowing an easy increase in clamping force by tightening the clamp screw.
  • Two-piece shaft collars can be assembled anywhere on the shaft, including between other shaft collars.

Shaft collars are also available in multiple bore configurations, including round, threaded, hexagonal, and square. While off-the-shelf shaft collars are suitable for many needs, standard shaft collars can be altered to meet specific application needs. Fully customized shaft collars are also an option for unique situations.


Applications of Mounted Shaft Collars

Mounted shaft collars are used in numerous industrial applications. Common use cases for shaft collars include:

  • Positioning or aligning moving components, such as gears, bearings, and pulleys in automated industrial equipment
  • Securely connecting tubes to hardware
  • Mounting sensor components onto shafts
  • Providing mechanical stops for actuators, cylinders, and other varied components in vehicles and heavy equipment
  • Use as spacers or stops on laboratory equipment, such as frames and clamps
  • Guides, spacers, or stops on medical imaging machines such as MRIs and CAT scanners
  • Facilitating precision positioning in optical measuring equipment
  • Provide appropriate positioning of gearbox or motor components in power transmissions


Shaft Collars From Stafford Manufacturing

Since 1975, Stafford Manufacturing has been fabricating and distributing standard and custom shaft collars for use across industries and applications. We offer extensive customization capabilities in terms of design, material, and finishing choices. We offer end-to-end support for any shaft collar project, including in-house CAD design and engineering capabilities that enable us to tailor a shaft collar to meet the specific needs of any customer.

Our facilities are compliant with all relevant industry standards, including ASA, ASME, ANSI B18.3, ISO 9001:2015, REACH, and RoHS. We work with customers in an expansive range of industries, such as:

  • Agriculture machinery
  • Assembly
  • Automation
  • Conveyor systems
  • Heavy trucks/off-road
  • Laboratory and research equipment
  • Machine tools
  • Marine
  • Medical equipment
  • Military and defense
  • Mining
  • Mixing equipment
  • Maintenance, repair, and operations
  • Oil and gas
  • Optical
  • Packaging
  • Retail displays
  • Robotics

Our team can help you identify the appropriate shaft collar design, material, and finish for any application. To see how our team can support yours, please contact us or request a quote today.

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