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Simple Machines: Wheel and Axel

Author: Amanda Soderlind

Wheel and Axle

Simple machines make our lives easier by allowing us to do tasks with less force. The mechanical advantage is the factor of which a machine multiplies the force put into it. For example, if a simple machine has a mechanical advantage of 3 it means that it made the work you did 3 times easier or you only had to put in 1/3 the force you would have if you didn’t have the simple machine.

An example of a simple machine is the wheel and axle. The wheel and axle allows movement of larger objects over a distance with less force. Imagine pushing a cart at the supermarket. Without wheels and axles it would be difficult to move a cart full of groceries.

To calculate the mechanical advantage of a wheel and axle you must divide the radius of the wheel by the radius of the axle. Therefore larger wheels means that the speed of the wheels is faster than the speed of the axle and for each rotation the axle makes the wheels are making multiple rotations. A mechanical advantage of 5 means that the wheels are moving 5 times faster than the axle.

MA= radius of wheel/radius of axle




Wheel and Axel