Simple Machines Inclined Plane, Wedge, Screw, Lever, Wheel & Axle, Pulley. By: Shae Anderson
What is a simple machine? • A simple device for altering the magnitude or direction of a force. • A simple machine has few or no moving parts. • They are used to make work easier. • They are used in everyday life for a variety of tasks.
Inclined Plane • A plane set at an angle to the horizontal, especially a simple machine such as a ramp or slide, used to raise or lower a load by rolling or sliding.
Wedge • A piece of material, such as metal or wood, thick at one edge and tapered to a thin edge at the other for insertion in a narrow crevice, used for splitting, tightening, securing, or levering.
Screw • A cylindrical rod incised with one or more helical or advancing spiral threads.
Lever • A simple machine consisting of a rigid bar pivoted on a fixed point and used to transmit force, as in raising or moving a weight at one end by pushing down on the other.
Wheel and Axle • A simple machine consisting of an axle to which a wheel is fastened so that torque applied to the wheel winds a rope or chain onto the axle, yielding a mechanical advantage equal to the ratio of the diameter of the wheel to that of the axle.
Pulley • A simple machine consisting essentially of a wheel with a grooved rim in which a pulled rope or chain can run to change the direction of the pull and thereby lift a load.
Can you think of any simple machines? • Simple machines are very useful and versatile. They have been used over the course of history for everything from building the Egyptian pyramids to splitting logs. When you go home today how many simple machines can you find? Even the complicated machinery of today use the concepts of simple machines.