Kinematic Link-Definition, Types or Classification, Example, Diagram, PDF

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Kinematic Link:


A kinematic link or element or link is a resistant body which constitutes part of the machine, connecting other parts which have motion relative to it.


Piston, piston rod and crosshead of a steam engine constitutes one unit and hence called one link shown in the below figure.

In this figure, the various link is designated as 1,2,3,4, etc.

Kinematic Link pdf

Link 1 is a fixed link which includes frame and all other stationery parts like cylinder, crankshaft bearing, camshaft bearing, etc.

Link 2 is the crankshaft, flywheel, etc all having rotation motion with respect to a fixed axis.

Link 3 is the connecting rod and

Link 4 is the piston which is having reciprocating motion. hence this is called a 4 bar mechanism.

Link need not be a rigid body but must be a resistant body. Hence link must have the following two characteristics:

  1. It must be a resistant body and
  2. It must have relative motion.

Types of link:

a) There are basically 4 types of the link which are:

1. Rigid link:

A rigid link is one which does not undergo any deformation while transmitting motion. Links on general are elastic in nature. They are considered rigid if they do not undergo appreciable deformation while transmitting motion.

Crank and connecting rod.

2. Flexible link:

A flexible link is one which while transmitting motion is partly deformed in a manner not to affect the transmission of motion.


Spring, Chain, Rope, belt, etc.

3. Fluid link:

A fluid link is one which is deformed by having fluid in a closed vessel and the motion is transmitted through the fluid by pressure.


Hydraulic press and Hydraulic jack.

4. Floating link:

A floating link is one which is not connected with the frame.

Related articles:

Kinematic Pair-Definition, Types or Classification, Example, Diagram, PDF

b) A link can also be classified based upon its number and end vertices.

The links are:

Binary link: It having two vertices

Binary link

Ternary link: having three vertices and

Ternary link

Quaternary link: This having four vertices

Quaternary link

at each vertex, it can have a revolute /turning pair.

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