Mechanical Keyway Engineering

What is a keyway?

A keyway is a slot or groove in the hub of a pulley, sprocket, or rotating power device that can receive a key. A keyway slots together with a key and a key seat and produces a very strong system. Keyed joints are very important to create secure load, power, and rotation without slipping. Keys come in three different settings, commercial, precision, and fitted.

What are the benefits of a keyway?

Keyed joints are an important part of machinal power transmission. The main benefit of a keyway lies in its ability to transmit better torque and reduced slipping. Keyways are particularly useful where the torque and speed needs to be transferred. A keyway can also help to reduce backlash and vibrations. Commercial keys are the most commonly used, they have less strict requirements, and the key is usually slightly undersized for the keyway. Fitted is the least frequently used and has the highest fit requirements, with little scope for movement. The key is generally made to oversized and then machined to fit the keyway, allowing very little movement. A keyway where the key does not fit correctly is virtually useless. Keyed joints are economical to produce, and are easy to mount and dismount which makes them easy to use and re-use in different settings. They are well standardised, so you can be confident in their use and safety.


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    When should we choose this service?

    Keyed joints are commonly used where medium to high torque power needs to be transmitted. They are often used in shaft applications. For example, in a power generator, the steam is transferred by a shaft into a generator. Keyways are often used in the power industry where they constantly need to transfer power using differing methods. Shafts are used in many industries, from automotive to industrial. Anywhere where a shaft is needed, a keyway can be a vital part of the engineering. Understanding the forces and pressure placed upon your shaft, and how the power needs to be transmitted will help to ascertain whether a keyed joint is the right solution for your engineering needs.

    Why choose IRS for your keyways?

    When you come to IRS you can be confident that we have the engineering expertise to work with you on whatever project you require. We are passionate about delivering a first-class service to all our customers. We make sure that we keep abreast of the latest developments in the engineering industry so that we can bring you the most up-to-date technology to provide solutions for your engineering requirements. We invest in our equipment and our people to ensure that we can give you access to both our expertise as well as the resources to deliver. We are renowned for our fast turnaround time, as we understand the importance of speed for your projects. Our friendly teams are always available for a no-obligation discussion about your engineering projects. Whatever the size or scale, we are here to help.