The simple machines are devices that allow changing the intensity or the direction of the energy reaching their point of entry in the form of mechanical work, and whose components are all are rigid solids. Different types of simple machines are Lever, Pulley, Inclined plane, Cradle, Wheels and axles, and Screws.
In the so-called machines composite, combine the benefits of two or more simple machines.
Simple machines emerged to solve the problems posed by everyday activities in very remote times, including hunting, fishing or transporting heavy objects. In truth, certain utensils were first designed, which were later perfected and this is how the first simple machines emerged. Arguably, those early machines functioned almost as an extension of human hands: they were wooden instruments for digging, sharp rocks for cutting, and others. But without a doubt, they produced important changes in the history of man and in his relationship with work.
Simple machines comprise those that have a single point of support (what varies among them is the location of said support) and take advantage of some basic physical principles such as the moment of force, work, power, energy, and mechanical performance. It must be kept in mind that simple machines do not escape the law of conservation of energy: energy is not created or destroyed in the simple machine, it only transforms.
What are the 6 types of simple machines?
- Inclined plane
- Wheels and axles
The lever, one of the most important, is a rigid bar that can rotate around a fixed point, the fulcrum. The force that is applied to the lever is called the driving force or power, and the force that is overcome is known as resistance. The length of the lever is important to overcome resistance
The pulley is used to lift heavy objects to a certain height. It is a wheel through which a rope passes through its external part; A weight or load is placed on one of the ends of the rope, which increases when a greater force is applied to the other end. It serves both to reduce the force required to lift objects and to change direction. There are simple pulleys and others formed by several wheels; the latter is called rigging.
In the inclined plane what happens is that the force of the weight is broken down into two components. In this way, the effort required to lift the load is less.
The wedge is a body where two somewhat sharp inclined planes converge, thus creating a lacerating contact point, which allows cutting or tearing solid objects.
The wheel is a round body that rotates with respect to a fixed point, called the axis of rotation, normally cylindrical. It is used to transmit a rotary movement between axes, facilitate the movement of objects and people, etc.
The screw is nothing more than an inclined plane twisted into a spiral, each of the turns is called a thread. In order for a screw to enter a body through its surface, it is made to rotate, the force it takes to make each turn and complete the process is always less than it would take to drive it in a straight line.
Examples of simple machines
Here is the list of Simple machine examples that are used in everyday life:
- Ferris wheels: They allow water to be extracted using the fundamental principle of the hydraulic rosary. It is placed partially submerged and through continuous movement enables the extraction of water.
- Water pumps: Device that lifts, transfers and compresses liquids. It uses the fundamental principles linked to pressure.
- Cranes: By means of the lever effect it manages to lift the weight by means of a beam, thus making less force, manipulating it with pulleys on a rotating pivot that allows horizontal movement. The stability of the crane makes it indispensable for the construction field.
- Slide: It uses the basics of the simple ‘inclined plane’ machine, where potential energy is harnessed, the concepts of speed and acceleration are involved, and it is assumed that there is no (or minimal) friction force.
- Up and down: The lever effect is combined in this popular game with the inclined plane, uniting in one-two simple machines, and taking advantage of both weight and the force of gravity, based on a point of support, before the action of force and reaction of resistance.
- Wheelbarrow: Common in the construction area, managing to distribute the weight orienting it towards the rim, which makes it possible to support a much greater weight with the only effort of pushing the wheelbarrow.
- Gear: A cogwheel that makes an object move faster or slower, by manipulating the force necessary to move it.
- Lathe: Combination of a crank and a cylinder, which allows a heavy body to be lifted by means of much less force.
- Ax: Essential to separate or lacerate (firewood, for example), it has a metal piece finished in the shape of a wedge, which is the one that tears and allows the cut.
- Scissors: A typical example of a simple lever, which combines resistance and power to achieve its purpose, that of cutting by joining the two steel blades.
- Tank: Use the pulley to raise or lower the bucket, thus raising the mass of water through the transformation of energy.
- Worm screw: Inclined plane threaded around a rod, which when it rotates manages to insert the thread (an inclined plane) in a wood, thus maintaining two things together with minimal effort.
- Pincer: Example of the lever, of an application similar to the scissors.
- Nutcracker: Lever combining power and resistance, which allows force to be applied to the exact point to break the nut.
- Fishing rod: Using the human arm as a fulcrum, the lever manipulates the force. The improvement of the fishing rods was making the task less and less laborious.
- Roman scale: Instrument that measures masses, and that is fundamentally based on levers.
- Guillotine: Simple machine formed by a very sharp blade, today it is used more than anything to cut a large amount of paper at the same time.
- Knife: Applies the mechanisms of the inclined plane achieving by means of the cutting edge, usually food or ropes.
- Cranks: Tool that is used to transform the rectilinear movement into circular, or vice versa. It is used to rotate an axle with less effort (something that was very necessary for vintage cars).
- Bicycle: Apply the foundation of the wheel and axle to allow the load to move (the person riding the bicycle).