Mechanical Advantage - Gear

Almost every machine we use has at least one gear assembly in it. Gears are used to transfer mechanical energy, both rotational or linear, from one component to another. Gears are often used to gain Mechanical Advantage by multiplying the applied force over a corresponding shorter distance.

The apperatus above is composed of two rack and pinion gear assemblies with the pinion gears attached to each other. Notice that because the larger pinion gear has twice the radius and circumference as the smaller pinion gear, and twice as many teeth, that it only takes 15 (or 1/2) units of force to lift 30 units of weight, but the weight only rises half as far as the handle is pulled down. The resulting Mechanical Advantage is 2.

Subject Index for all interactive diagrams - Physics - Dynamics - Mechanical Advantage - Gear (Rack and Pinion)

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