What are machine keys?
Machine keys are precision metal parts used to join together a rotating shaft and a wheel, gear, or other part so the shaft turns the part it is joined to.
What's the difference between machine keys and key stock?
CTS defines “machine keys” as finished parts cut to a specific width, height, length and tolerance. “Key stock” is defined as the longer raw material of a specific height and width from which smaller machine keys are cut. If you wish to cut your own machine keys in the different lengths you might need, then purchase key stock with the right height and width. Keystock comes in different lengths, and you’ll find buying a longer length saves time because you can set up your machine to cut the keys once and produce many keys from it.
What are shaft keys?
Shaft keys are just another name for machine keys, since the parts are used to join a shaft to a gear, wheel, etc.
What is a keyway?
The keyway is the slot in a shaft or machine part into which a machine key is inserted, to join they two parts together as one.
What are undersize and oversize machine keys?
These terms refer to the tolerance of the machine key, which is how much it can differ from the exact size it is suppose to be. Undersize machine keys, the most common type used, may be slightly smaller than the size they should be but they cannot be larger. Oversize machine keys can be slightly larger than the size they should be but cannot be smaller.
What are the types of machine keys?
Parallel machine keys are made with both ends round, both ends square, or one round and one square end. Woodruff keys are semi-circular shapes in two kinds. Radius bottom woodruff keys are half-circle shapes. Flat bottom woodruff keys have the circular side cut with a straight edge, so they fit with a straight edge into the piece they are joined to.
What kinds of materials are machine keys made from?
CTS manufactures machine keys made of S45C carbon steel and SS304 stainless steel, the most popular materials we keep in stock. Our pins are SU12 bearing steel. We also manufacture custom machine keys from aluminum, brass, or any other metal you desire.