Complex machines from internal combustion engines to heli-copters and machine tools contain many mechanisms. However,it might not be as obvious that mechanisms can be found in con-sumer goods from toys and cameras to computer drives andprinters. In fact,many common hand tools such as scissors,screwdrivers,wrenches,jacks,and hammers are actually truemechanisms. Moreover,the hands and feet,arms,legs,and jawsof humans qualify as functioning mechanisms as do the paws andlegs,flippers,wings,and tails of animals.There is a difference between a
:All machines transform energy to do work,but only some mech-anisms are capable of performing work. The term
means an assembly that includes both machines and mecha-nisms. Figure 1a illustrates a cross section of a machine—aninternal combustion engine. The assembly of the piston,con-necting rod,and crankshaft is a mechanism,termed a
. The basic schematic drawing of that mechanism,Fig. 1b,called a
,shows only its fundamen-tal structure without the technical details explaining how it isconstructed.
Efficiency of Machines
Simple machines are evaluated on the basis of efficiency andmechanical advantage. While it is possible to obtain a largerforce from a machine than the force exerted upon it,this refersonly to force and not energy; according to the law of conserva-tion of energy,
more work cannot be obtained from a machinethan the energy supplied to it
. Because work
distance,for a machine to exert a larger force than its initiating force oroperator,that larger force must be exerted through a correspond-ingly shorter distance. As a result of friction in all movingmachinery,the energy produced by a machine is less than thatapplied to it. Consequently,by interpreting the law of conservationof energy,it follows that:Input energy
wasted energyThis statement is true over any period of time,so it applies toany unit of time; because power is work or energy per unit of time,the following statement is also true:Input power
efficiency of a machine is the ratio of its output to itsinput
,if both input and output are expressed in the same units of energy or power. This ratio is always less than unity,and it is usu-ally expressed in percent by multiplying the ratio by 100.Percent efficiency
output energyinput energy
Cross section of a cylinder of an internal combustionengine showing piston reciprocation (a), and the skeleton outline ofthe linkage mechanism that moves the piston (b).
orA machine has high efficiency if most of the power suppliedto it is passed on to its load and only a fraction of the power iswasted. The efficiency can be as high as 98 percent for a largeelectrical generator,but it is likely to be less than 50 percent fora screw jack. For example,if the input power supplied to a 20-hpmotor with an efficiency of 70 percent is to be calculated,theforegoing equation is transposed.
of a mechanism or system is the ratioof the load or weight
,typically in pounds or kilograms,dividedby the effort or force
exerted by the initiating entity or opera-tor,also in pounds or kilograms. If friction has been consideredor is known from actual testing,the mechanical advantage,MA,of a machine is:MA
28.6 hpInput power
output powerpercent efficiency
output powerinput power