Office for Technology Commercialization

Modular Crankshaft Uses Crank Pin and Roller Bearings

Technology #20140173

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Modular CrankshaftCrank PinInternal Combustion Engine
James D. Van de Ven, PhD
Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Science and Engineering
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Managed By
Larry Micek
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-9568
Patent Protection

US Patent Pending

Split Crankshaft for Multiple Configurations

Traditional crankshafts are machined from a single casting. They cannot be modified after production and are not easily adapted to new configurations when the application changes. While other split crankshaft designs exist, they require press­fit pins or hard to access hardware. A modular crankshaft design has been created that allows for the use of roller bearings and crank pin for increased efficiency. The modular design allows for easy assembly and disassembly inside an enclosure. Components can be reused for changing designs and applications. It can also be manufactured using lower costs methods. Unlike other modular crankshaft designs, parts are assembled perpendicularly to the crankshaft, allowing easy access for replacing bearings or other general maintenance.

Internal Combustion Engine and Other Applications

The modular crankshaft design has potential applications in internal combustion engines, linkage pumps and motors, and compressors. It reduces the cost of crankshaft assembly, and is more efficient and easier to maintain. When a new application arises, the crankshaft can be easily modified to fit in a variety of configurations.


  • Split shaft design and assembly methods
  • Allows for use of roller bearings and crank pins instead of press-fit pins
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to maintain
  • Can be manufactured using low cost methods
  • Adaptable to multiple configurations for different applications

Phase of Development Functional Prototype and mockup prototype