2 Tutorials that teach Simple Machines: Wheel and Axel
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Simple Machines: Wheel and Axel

Simple Machines: Wheel and Axel

Author: Nathan Lampson

Imagine moving a cart full of groceries around the supermarket in a cart with no wheels. The wheel and axel together as a working part is an example of a simple machine that makes it easier to perform tasks by using less force. You will explore the concept of mechanical advantage and how it is used to describe a factor of force required to perform tasks. You will also learn how to calculate mechanical force using the radius in a wheel and axel simple machine.

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The wheel and axel is a simple machine used to produce mechanical advantage.  A mechanical advantage is when an input force is amplified by the use of a tool.  

A wheel and axle is made of two circular or cylindrical objects that are fastened together.  The larger of the two objects is called the wheel and the smaller one is called the axle.



A screwdriver is a wheel and axel.


In order to calculate the mechanical advantage of a wheel and axel, you can divide the radius of the wheel by the radius of the axle.


mechanical advantage = radius of wheel / radius of axle


If a wheel's radius is 60cm and its axle is 30cm, what is the mechanical advantage of the wheel and axle?


mechanical advantage = radius of wheel / radius of axle

mechanical advantage = 60cm / 30cm

mechanical advantage = 2


The output force of the wheel and axle is 2 times greater than the input force.