Types of Kinematic Pairs



A. According to the nature of relative motion between links
1. Sliding pair
2. Turning pair
3. Screw or helical pair
4. Rolling pair
5. Spherical pair

B. According to nature of contact between links
1. Lower pair
2. Higher pair

C. According to mechanical arrangement between links
1. Closed pair
2. Unclosed pair




What is kinematic pair?

Kinematic pair is form by kinematic links (Types of Kinematic Links). When two kinematic links are connected and the motion between links is in a definite direction then, these two links are known as kinematic pair. Kinematic pair has different types and these are as follow.

A. According to the nature of relative motion between links

In this category kinematic pairs are classified by relative motion between kinematic pairs. Types of this category pairs are as follows.

1. Sliding pair

Sliding pair


In this type motion between two kinematic links in definite direction is sliding and known as sliding pair. Example of sliding pair is that a block with square or rectangular hole and bar of rectangular or square inserted into block hole then relative motion between two links (block and bar) is sliding only.

2. Turning pair

Turning pair


When two kinematic links are connected in such way that the relative motion between links is definite and turning or revolving is known as turning pair.

3. Screw or helical pair

Screw or helical pair


When in two kinematic links, one link is turn about other link by screw thread is known as screw or helical pair. Example of screw pair is movement of bolt in fixed nut.

4. Rolling pair

Rolling pair


When two kinematic links are connected in such way that, one link is rolling over other link is known as rolling pair. Good example of rolling pair is ball bearing. In which ball has rolling contact with shaft and outer surface of bearing.

5. Spherical pair

Spherical pair


When in two kinematic links, one link is in form of spherical shape and turn inside a fixed element is known as spherical pair. Good example of spherical pair is mirror of car. The rod is to be connecting to mirror has spherical shape at top and mirror is fixed element and these form a spherical pair.

B. According to nature of contact between links

In this category pairs are classified by the nature of contact between two links. The nature of contact may be surface contact, line contact and point contact. Types of this category pairs are as follows.

1. Lower pair

When the nature of contact between two kinematic links is surface contact or area contact are known as lower pair. Examples of lower pair are sliding pairs and revolving or turning pairs.

2. Higher pair

When the nature of contact between two kinematic links is point contact or line contact then this pairs are known as higher pair. Example of higher pair is the contact between road surface and wheel of vehicle is point contact means higher pair.

C. According to mechanical arrangement between links

In this category pairs are classified by the arrangement between kinematic links that is links are held together mechanically or any external force is applied for holding this links together and type of this category pairs are as follows.

1. Closed pair

When two kinematic links are held together by mechanically is known as closed pair. Lower pairs are example of closed pair.

2. Unclosed pair

Unclosed pair


When kinematic links are not held together by mechanically is known as unclosed pair. For hold these kinematic links, some external force required and this may be spring force or gravity force. Example of unclosed pair is cam and follower mechanism in which spring force is used to maintain contact between cam and follower.





Recommended Links

  • Types of Kinematic Links