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Square Ball Redesigns Century-old U-Joint | CCTY Bearing

By: John Sweetwood, Co-Designer of Square Ball Universal Joint™ & Strategic Sales Manager

The universal joint has been fundamentally the same for the last 100 years … until now. The new approach from CCTY Bearing uses a square ball and seven other components, which is a stark contrast to the more than 100 parts found standard u-joints.

The Square Ball Universal Joint™ is comprised of:

  • 1 square ball
  • 2 yokes
  • 2 retaining pins
  • 1 seal and
  • 2 seal clamps

Fewer parts simplify the u-joint allowing for smoother rotation and stronger design. The patent-pending u-joint is maintenance-free due to a true seal that retains lubrication while keeping out containments.

The Square Ball seeks its own center between the two yokes when it is rotating through an angle with some load. Rotational torque is transferred/concentrated around the left and right opposing zones of the yoke’s ID to the adjacent cylindrical surfaces of the Square Ball central element, not the center of the yoke or the grooves in the Square Ball.

A common misconception about the design is that rotational force is placed on the pins. However, the pins simply keep the Square Ball in place, they don’t transfer torque.  Constant velocity can be achieved when assembled with two properly phased and equal-angled joints, the same as a double Cardan CV.

Uses for the product include:

  • Lift Trucks
  • ATVs/UTVs/Golf Carts
  • Industrial Power Transmissions
  • Steering Columns
  • Tractors
  • Conveyor Systems

“We are excited about the future of the Square Ball in environments outside of current testing parameters – including PTO drive applications. We’ve only scratched the surface of what the Square Ball can accomplish,” said the co-designer, John Sweetwood.

More information about the Square Ball Univeral Joint can be found on the company’s website:

CCTY Bearing
1111 Rose Road, Lake Zurich, IL 60047
Phone – (847) 540-8196
email –

About the Author: John Sweetwood, Co-Designer of Square Ball Universal Joint™, Strategic Sales Manager  CCTY Bearing

John Sweetwood joined CCTY Bearing in 2013 as a strategic sales manager. Although not a mechanical engineer by degree, much of his career has focused on design problem solving. Those skills are complimented by previous experience as a machinist.

It was Sweetwood’s design idea, sparked in a SolidWorks training class that lead to the patent-pending Square Ball Universal Joint. The concept was inspired by a forklift customer‘s need for a stronger universal joint, in the steering linkage, capable of fitting within the same space envelope. The unique design is able to provide a smoother rotation for intermittent applications.