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What is a Drive Rod?

By Christy Bieber
Updated: May 17, 2024

A drive rod is used in torque applications to deliver the power created by the motor through the head of the motor. Drive rods are the element of the process that actually performs the transfer of the motor’s provided torque into power. Drive rods are used any time the drive of a motor’s force must be transferred to another medium, such as a gear sequence that turns an axle or a device that is extended away from the motor.

Since the distance between the motor and the device the motor powers determines how much power is transferred to the device, it’s imperative that the drive rod be manufactured in a manner that prevents any twisting or “give” in the torque transferring process. Any twist allows for a drastic decrease in the amount of power delivered through the drive rod. As a result, most drive rods are hollow tubes because they prevent any twisting or bending in drive rods unless a great amount of force is applied.

Depending on the amount of power being delivered and the application the rod is being used for, the rod itself may either be fabricated out of heat-treated steel or out of an alloy that will hold up to the usage requirements. The design and material the drive rod is made of will directly determine the amount of torque the rod is able to handle. If the amount of power is enough to turn the drive rod but not enough to work the drive point, the drive rod will often absorb the energy created by the driving force and either twist, snap, or damage the connecting points at the driving force and the drive point.

Drive rods are also variable in length, depending on the application they have been designed for. The required distance the transfer of power from the driving force must travel to successfully transfer the power to the drive point is also essential when designing the rods. Further, the space between the motor turning the rod and the drive point that the device that is connected to determines the amount of force the motor must provide to the drive rod to turn the drive point with sufficient force for the application.

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