What Are Quill Shafts and Their Applications?

Compressors, transmissions, drill presses, and other such apparatuses are all important assemblies for various applications and industries, and all of them share a reliance on an often overlooked component known as a quill shaft. Such components are quite small, coming in the form of thin, solid shafts that are designed to undertake the amount of torque that a larger shaft would. This is made possible through their ability to operate at higher stress levels, carrying torque similarly to a torsional spring as it twists along its length. Quill shafts have found implementation in various assemblies pertaining to diverse industries, and it can be useful to have a general understanding of their use.

One of the most common applications for quill shafts is within refrigeration compressors, due to the high benefits that they provide such assemblies. As compared to larger shafts that are placed within compressors for a similar reason, quill shafts perform well while requiring smaller seals and lower rubbing velocities. With their ability to minimize the amount of overrun weight present in the compressor assembly, they perform well as a vibration reducer. Typically, quill shafts are implemented alongside a single hinge coupling, and their cantilever bend allows them to only need a single hinge for ample misalignment ability. The last major benefit for quill shafts in compressors is their ability to isolate the assembly from gear mesh frequencies, driver pulsations, and other related forcing frequencies.

Beyond such an example, quill shafts are also commonly found in numerous other applications and settings where they are placed as a spacer between two flexible components. As another example of a use, quill shafts with flexible elements on both shafts ends could be installed within a coupling for torsionally soft operations. Rather than bending to respond to any misalignment, the quill shaft would serve to minimize the amount of torsional vibration present in the assembly for better performance and less wear & tear.

In some instances, manufacturers have attempted to use rubber elements in lieu of quill shafts for their torsionally soft couplings, but this can lead to various downsides that would otherwise be avoided. Rubber torsional springs are known for being heavier and larger in diameter, and they are often faced with quicker failure rates and shorter service lives when subjected to heavy usage. As a final disadvantage, rubber torsional springs have more difficulty reaching low spring and high torque rates when compared to quill shafts.

When discussing quill shafts, it is important to not get them confused with quill drive equipment. A quill drive is a form of mechanism that permits drive shafts to shift in relation to the driving shaft, and they utilize a quill shaft for their operations, hence their name. A common example of quill drive usage is drill presses, where the quill drive allows for the chuck to move up and down. Quill drive assemblies are also in many railroads for connecting traction motors and driven wheels.

Whether you are in the market for quill shafts, quill drive parts, driving shaft components, or other various related items, ASAP Aviation Procurement is your sourcing solution with our expansive inventory. We invite you to explore our constantly expanding part catalogs as you see fit, and our search engine and filters can allow you to narrow down results with ease if you already have parts in mind. To request quotes for your comparisons, simply fill out and submit an RFQ form as provided on our website, and a dedicated account manager will reach out to you within 15 minutes to offer you a customized quote based on your needs. Experience the future of parts purchasing today when you get in touch with an ASAP Aviation Procurement representative


October 12, 2022