# Simple Machines

Simple Machines Lever, Wheel & Axle, and Pulley Levers Have you ever ridden on a seesaw or pried open a paint can with an opener? If so, then you are already familiar

with another simple machine called a lever. A lever is a rigid bar that is free to pivot, or rotate, on a fixed point. The fixed point that a lever pivots around is called the fulcrum. How It Works To understand how levers work, think about using a paint-can opener.

The opener rests against the edge of the can, which acts as the fulcrum. The tip of the opener is under the lid of the can. When you push down, you exert an input force on the handle, and the opener pivots on the fulcrum. As a result, the tip of the opener pushes up, thereby exerting an output force on the lid.

Mechanical Advantage A lever like the paint-can opener helps you in two ways. It increases your input force and it changes the direction of your input force. When you use the paint-can opener, you push the handle a long distance down in order to move the lid a short distance up. However, you are able to apply a smaller

force than you would have without the opener. The ideal mechanical advantage of a lever is determined by dividing the distance from the fulcrum to the input force by the distance from the fulcrum to the output force. Mechanical Advantage of

a Lever A levers input distance and output distance determine its ideal mechanical advantage In the case of the paint-can opener, the distance from the fulcrum to the input force is greater than the distance from the fulcrum to the output force.

This means that the mechanical advantage is greater than 1. Different Types of Levers When a paint-can opener is used as a lever, the fulcrum is located between the input and output forces. But this is not always the case. As shown in Figure 17, there are three different types of levers.

Levers are classified according to the location of the fulcrum relative to the input and output forces. First-Class Levers First-class levers always change the direction of the input force. If the fulcrum is

closer to the output force, these levers also increase force. If the fulcrum is closer to the input force, these levers also increase distance. Other examples include scissors,

pliers, and seesaws. Second-Class Levers These levers increase force, but do not change the direction of the input force. Other examples include doors, nutcrackers, and bottle openers. Third-Class Levers These levers

increase distance, but do not change the direction of the input force. Other examples include fishing poles, shovels, and baseball

bats. Which point on a lever set-up does not move? the fulcrum the point where the input force is applied the point where the output force is applied the mid-point

Wheel and Axle Its almost impossible to insert a screw into a piece of wood with your fingers. But with a screwdriver, you can turn the screw easily. A screwdriver makes use of a simple machine known as the wheel and axle. A wheel and axle is a simple machine made of two circular or cylindrical objects

fastened together that rotate about a common axis. The object with the larger radius is called the wheel and the object with the smaller radius is called the axle. In a screwdriver, the handle is the wheel and the shaft is the axle. A doorknob and a cars steering wheel are also examples of a wheel

and axle. How It Works How does a screwdriver make use of a wheel and axle to do work? Look at Fiugre 18. When you use a

screwdriver, you apply an input force to turn the handle, or wheel. Because the wheel is larger than the shaft, or axle, the axle rotates and exerts a large output force. The wheel and axle increases your force,

but you must exert your force over a long distance. A screwdriver increases force by exerting the output force over a shorter distance. What would happen if the input force were applied to the axle rather than the wheel?

For the riverboat in Figure 19 on the next page, the force of the engine is applied to the axle of the large paddle wheel. The large paddle wheel in turn pushes against the water. In this case, the input force is exerted over a long distance. So when the input force is applied to the axle, a wheel and axle multiplies distance.

In a riverboat paddle wheel, the axle turns the wheel. The output force is less than the input force, but it is exerted over a longer distance Mechanical Advantage You can find the ideal mechanical advantage of a wheel and axle by dividing the radius of the wheel by the radius of the axle. A radius is the distance from the

outer edge of a circle to the circles center. The greater the ratio between the radius of the wheel and the radius of the axle, the greater the mechanical advantage. Suppose the radius of a screwdrivers wheel is 1.5 cm and its axle radius is 0.3 cm.

The screwdrivers ideal mechanical advantage would be 1.5 centimeters 0.3 centimeter, or 5. In a circle, a radius is the distance

across the circle. around the outside of the circle. around the inside of the circle. from the outer edge to the center. Pulley When you raise a flag on a flagpole or when you open and close window blinds, you are using a pulley. A pulley is a simple machine made

of a grooved wheel with a rope or cable wrapped around it. How It Works You use a pulley by pulling on one end of the rope. This is the input force. At the other end of the rope, the output force pulls up on the object you want to move.

To move a heavy object over a distance, a pulley can make work easier in two ways. First, it can decrease the amount of input force needed to lift the object. Second, the pulley can change the direction of your input force. For example, you pull down on the flagpole rope, and the flag moves up.

Types of Pulleys There are two basic types of pulleys. A pulley that you attach to a structure is called a fixed pulley. Fixed pulleys are used at the tops of

flagpoles. If you attach a pulley to the object you wish to move, you use a movable pulley. Construction cranes often use movable pulleys.

By combining fixed and movable pulleys, you can make a pulley system called a block and tackle. The ideal mechanical advantage of a

pulley is equal to the number of sections of rope that support the object. When a pulley is attached to the object being moved it is called a

block and tackle. fixed pulley. movable pulley. second-class pulley.

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