Leaving Certificate


Structures and Mechanisms

Introduction ……………………………………………………..................... Motion ………………………………………………..................................... Newton’s Third Law of Motion …………………………………………….

2. 6. 8.

Force …………………………………………………………………………… 9. Load ……………………………………………………………………………. Structures …………………………………………………………………….. Naturally occurring Structures …………………………………………… Forces on a Structure ……………………………………………………… Moments ……………………………………………………………………… Calculating Moments ………………………………………………………. Manmade structures found in Nature …………………………………… Shell structures in design …………………………………………………. Beams ………………………………………………………………………… Frames ………………………………………………………………………... Frame analysis ……………………………………………………………… Factor of safety ……………………………………………………………... Moments ……………………………………………………………………… Levers ………………………………………………………………………… Lever classification ………………………………………………………… Mechanical advantage …………………………………………………….. Velocity ratio ………………………………………………………………… Linkages ……………………………………………………………………… Pulleys ………………………………………………………………………... Pulley advantage …………………………………………………………… Calculations …………………………………………………………………. Cams and followers ………………………………………………………… Rotary cams …………………………………………………………………. Linear cams …………………………………………………………………. Gears …………………………………………………………………………. Gear trains …………………………………………………………………… Power …………………………………………………………………………. 11. 12. 14. 16. 18. 19. 21. 29. 30. 35. 40. 42. 45. 48. 49. 51. 52. 53. 56. 58. 60. 63. 65. 66. 67. 70. 73


Structures come in countless shapes and sizes. Structures are a central part of life today and depend heavily on various mechanisms within machinery for their production. the bicycle also depends on mechanisms to function.Introduction Structures and Mechanisms Looking at the image below. by identifying and learning about their structural components. The chain and sprocket is one example of a mechanism. Can you think of any structures which impact on your everyday life? High Rise Building Vehicle Frame Bridge Supporting Roadway Residential Dwelling We can simplify learning about these structures and their inherent strength. each one with its own unique and specific function. However. © t4 Galway Education Centre 2 . it can be clearly seen that the bicycle is constructed around a frame structure.

Machinery is also a central part of life today. machinery plays a crucial role in the manufacture of those structures. These working parts are called mechanisms Rack and Pinion Pulley and Wheels Cam and Follower © t4 Galway Education Centre 3 . which we have already identified as being a part of our everyday lives. How many examples can you think of? Drill Tractor Car Exercise Bicycle Luas We can simplify learning about these various machines by realising that every machine is made up of a variety of working parts. It would be impossible to name every machine in existence. As already mentioned.

Can you identify and name the mechanism and/or structure in each of the following images? Bicycle Wrench Wheelbarrow Entrance Collins Dictionary Definitions A mechanism is defined as: A system of moving parts that performs some function Motion is defined as: The process of continual change in the position of an object © t4 Galway Education Centre 4 .

Force is defined as: Exertion or the use of exertion against a person or thing that resists Motion and Force What input is required for this drill to work? Input The lever of the drill is pulled down Output The chuck of the drill moves down © t4 Galway Education Centre 5 .

Reciprocating Motion Engine pistons and valves move up and down (reciprocate) continuously. What other examples of rotary motion can you think of? © t4 Galway Education Centre 6 .Motion There are four main types of motion: 1. Rotary Motion – movement around in a circle 4. Rotary Motion Rotary motion is also known as circular motion. Reciprocating Motion – backwards and forwards movement 3. Linear Motion A train on its tracks moves in a linear motion. Can you think of any other examples? 3. Can you give any other examples of linear motion? 2. The wheels of a bicycle move in a rotary fashion. Oscillating Motion – movement over and back in an arc Can you think of any everyday examples of these types of motion? 1. Linear Motion – movement in a straight line 2.

Oscillating Motion The pendulum of a clock and a child on a swing are both examples of oscillating motion. however. In practice. © t4 Galway Education Centre 7 . unless it is acted on by an external force.4. The above rules are true in theory. if no force is applied. Can you think of any other examples? Newton’s First Law of Motion Newton’s First Law states: A body continues at rest or at a constant speed in a straight line. a body at rest will not move and a body in motion will continue at a constant velocity forever. a car moving along a level surface will always slow down. if no force is applied to it. This means that without the application of force. This is because of frictional forces acting as a brake.

This is demonstrated when a car sits on a road. then Object B will consequently exert an equal and opposite force on Object A. in turn. if Object A exerts a force on Object B. the car sits on the road’s surface. In other words.Newton’s Third Law of Motion Newton’s Third Law states: To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. pushes back on the tyres in the opposite direction. It neither floats nor sinks. The car tyres push against the road. © t4 Galway Education Centre 8 . The road. As a result of the forces being equal and opposite. but rather remains sitting.

© t4 Galway Education Centre 9 . Torsion 5. Bending A Rope in Tension Columns in Compression Pipe Bending 1. Tensile Force (Tension) As demonstrated in a spring. Compression 3.Force There are five main types of force: 1. this is where a load pulls an object apart. Shear 4. Tension 2.

5. 4. Shearing Force (Shear) This occurs when loads push at right angles to the surface of the object. as with the cans being crushed by compression below. as demonstrated by the image of the scissors below.2. 3. Torsion Force (Torsion) This occurs when the load causes an object to twist. Bending Force (Bending) This will occur when a load or force causes an object to bend to an angle. Compressive Force (Compression) This is where a load presses or squashes objects together. © t4 Galway Education Centre 10 .

e. Dynamic Load is a load which is not fixed to any one specific point.Load As there are different types of forces acting on a structure. so too will there be different types of load.g. a building. e. Static Load is a load which is fixed at one point. Structures © t4 Galway Education Centre 11 . a car travelling along a road.g.

atoms. cells. Examples of these include. © t4 Galway Education Centre 12 . buildings. There are many different types of structure in existence. structures are objects made up of parts which. e. contributes to strength in structures? Hint: Structures are designed to be able to withstand loads. bridges. do you think.A structure can be defined as an arrangement of parts joined together in a manner which provides strength in order to facilitate the carrying of loads. when combined. which may distort or break them. What. create solid structures. cranes and chairs. Crystals Atoms / Cells Similarly. The Eiffel Tower The Golden Gate Bridge Most objects are arrangements of parts.g. crystals.

Factors which contribute to strength in structure are as follows: • • • • The strength of the material The shape of the parts The method used to join the parts together The manner in which they are arranged This Florentine Bridge and Thai Tribal Home incorporate all of the aforementioned factors in order to contribute to their strength . a tower crane and scaffolding. buildings.This picture shows a variety of structures. including. Naturally Occurring Structures © t4 Galway Education Centre 13 .

be able to withstand loads. The forces of nature also provide an everyday challenge to these structures. in order to serve their purpose as structures.Nature provides us with the template to many of our strongest structures. © t4 Galway Education Centre 14 . How many can you name? Spiders Webs Honeycomb Trees These naturally occurring structures must.

which have proven their strength and durability against the forces of nature time and again. Bee’s Honeycomb Honeycomb Floor Mat Mount Everest Egyptian Pyramid © t4 Galway Education Centre 15 .Engineers have studied these naturally occurring structures. They have learned from them and incorporated many of their features into useful designs with several applications in our various man-made structures.

Forces Force changes the state of rest or uniform motion of a body. Strain is the actual change in shape that is caused. Force is measured in units of weight. © t4 Galway Education Centre 16 . Point Load – A load acting on a point Stable pair – When forces are equal Unstable pair – When forces are not equal Stable combination – When opposite forces are balanced Universally distributed load – When the load is spread evenly across a supporting member The effects of force on a structure Stress is caused within a structure by any force trying to change the shape of the structure.

Compression – is when something is squeezed and can result in crushing. Tension – is when something is pulled and can result in stretching Shear – is when something is cut or slides and results in sliding or shearing Torsion – is when something is twisted Bend – is when something is bent and can be permanently deformed © t4 Galway Education Centre 17 .

Moment = F x d Distance (d) Force (F) When something is in equilibrium. © t4 Galway Education Centre 18 . A moment is obtained by multiplying the load by its distance from the point being considered. the clockwise moments must equal the anti-clockwise moments. the moments of a force are balanced. The Principle of Moments states that for there to be equilibrium.Moments Moments are any movement or action about a point or fulcrum.

Example 2 9 kN 2m 1m RL RR RL : RR x 3m = 9 x 2m RR = 9 x 2 3 RR = 6kN RR : RL x 3m = 9 x 1m RL = 9 x 1 3 RL = 3kN © t4 Galway Education Centre 19 .Calculating Moments Example 1 Clockwise Moments = 20N x 1m Anti-Clockwise Moments = 10N x 2m 20Nm = 20Nm Therefore. the scales is in equilibrium.

such as high rise buildings. © t4 Galway Education Centre 20 . The Centre of Gravity is crucial to engineers. when placed in line with the ‘points of balance’ of each of the other stones. do not cause the building to shake on its foundations and collapse.9kn Example 3 3m 1m RL RR RL : RR x 3m = 9 x 4m RR = 9 x 4 3 RR = 12kN RR : (RL x 3m) + (9 x 1m) RL = -9 3 RL = -3kN So. Observing the picture on the left. in summary. allows the stack of stones to remain upright and unwavering. these stones have been stacked in a manner which allows them to balance and remain upright. when designing large scale structures. It is vital that the building be in equilibrium. earthquake tremors. in order to ensure that forces such as strong winds. How is this possible? Explanation: Each of these stones has an individual ‘point of balance’ which. equilibrium can be described as a state of balance which occurs when both sides are equal. However. each of the stones is of a different size and non-uniform shape. or even traffic shudders. This ‘point of balance’ is known as the Centre of Gravity.

we will examine the following natural occurrences. and establish a link between natural and everyday manmade structures: • • • • • A grass leaf A water lily A palm tree leaf A sea arch A snail shell Water Lily Palm Tree Snail Shell Grass Leaves Sea Arch © t4 Galway Education Centre 21 .Manmade Structures Influenced by Natural Structures In order to better understand the influence of structures in nature on manmade structures.

This honeycomb structure creates a material which is very strong and stable. honeycomb exhibits extreme resistance to shear stresses. When sandwiched between layers of carbon fibre. even in adverse weather conditions. The area between the two outer surfaces of a grass leaf is made of a honeycomb or mesh structure. © t4 Galway Education Centre 22 . Water Lily Water lilies are naturally very fine. Grass Leaf under a Microscope This image shows how the internal honeycomb structure of a grass leaf provides it with its strength Manufactured Honeycomb Structures Honeycomb is predominately used as a core in sandwiched structures to meet design requirements for highly stressed structural components. yet simultaneously thin and lightweight. yet their structural properties enable them to maintain their shape.Grass Leaf Plants often provide structural inspiration for engineers because they manage to achieve characteristics which are simultaneously lightweight and strong Grass leaves combine these two characteristics.

multi-storey car parks and modern factory roofs all use the water lily structure as a model on which to construct and manufacture their structures. to be supported by their stalks. The Eiffel tower’s giant Lily Pad design of the future. A structure made with parts that extend to meet each other. yet in spite of this magnitude they are very light in weight. the underside of a water lily consists of a web-like structure. which gain their strength from thin corrugated sheets. This combination of characteristics allows the palm tree leaves. Palm Tree Leaves Palm tree leaves can grow to over 10m in length and 1m in width. This structure effectively scaffolds or supports the surface of the leaf. Supporting Structures Can you think of any man-made structures which support platforms in the way that the water lily does? Sports stadiums. which grows from the centre of the leaf outwards. © t4 Galway Education Centre 23 .On observation.

© t4 Galway Education Centre 24 . we examined the honeycomb structure and the zigzag pattern of the palm tree leaf.This cross section of a palm tree leaf shows a zigzag pattern. Corrugated Structures Can you think of any man-made structures which take their inspiration from the palm tree leaf? Shed and garage roofs and cardboard packaging all use the palm tree leaf as a model on which to base their corrugated structure. This folded characteristic gives the leaf its thin yet durable and hard-to-tear properties. Designers have always tried to recreate these structural forms. providing strength and durability without the hindrance of excess weight. Corrugation used in packaging Corrugated roofing In the sections above.

as demonstrated above. What happens if the sheet is folded to recreate the zigzag structural form of the palm tree leaf? In designing and building these structures. through experimentation. Recreate these paper forms. they are increasing the rigidity of the material. Examine. This can also be achieved through the square form. engineers have many factors to consider. the maximum load each structure can bear. © t4 Galway Education Centre 25 . Engineers have found that by bending sheets into shapes. Experiment with creating a square form fold.Task If you hold a sheet of paper at one end. as in the above example. the other end will flop and bend over. in addition to the zigzag.

In more everyday applications. such as pillars. One of the most inspirational of all of these is the arch. arches can be seen in fields and over rivers all over the countryside in the form of bridges. formed naturally by weathering and marine erosion. Builders use stone to form these arch shapes. have inspired engineers for centuries. as shown in the image below. therefore.Sea Arch Coastal features. sometimes known as The Roman Arch Bridge. These bridges have their origins in Ancient Rome and are. © t4 Galway Education Centre 26 . The main feature of this style of bridge structure is a keystone. Structural Arches in Buildings Can you think of any man-made structures which take their inspiration from the sea arch? The arch is a central and defining feature of many of our most famous and easily recognisable building. caves and arches. The arch can be described as a curved opening in a mass of rock resulting from the erosion of rock by wave activity and chemical weathering. such as the Colosseum in Rome.

as shown below. In more modern times. © t4 Galway Education Centre 27 . As illustrated. as technology has advanced. which are supported by towers. road bridges are occasionally of the suspension design.Keystone Why do you think stone-built bridges use the arch as their structure? What would happen if the keystone were removed? Task Using 40mm wooden cubed blocks. the bridged roadway is carried by wire cables. cut / shape / form them into a Roman Arch. Experiment with different means of supporting the stones in place.

As can be seen below. an example of which can be seen below. using a variety of material shapes. different types of frame structure can be joined together. to construct girder bridges.Other bridges are constructed using concrete. These are known as beam bridges. © t4 Galway Education Centre 28 .

Masonry or stone domes or vaults in the Middle Ages facilitated the construction of more spacious buildings. Shell Structures in Design Can you think of any man-made structures which take their inspiration from the shell? Man-made shell structures are used in various sectors of engineering. They are capable of carrying large point loads. Shell structures can usually be understood as a set of beams. There are many examples of shell structure to be found in modern building design. A shell is usually curved in form. as shown. tortoises. whilst also being lightweight. crustaceans. arches and catenaries. © t4 Galway Education Centre 29 . The snail’s shell. The Sydney Opera House is one such example. Shell structures play a very important part in mechanical design as shown below. Sydney Opera House Car Shell Shells serve to protect and provide excellent strength. A shell serves to protect and provide shelter from the elements. rather than the materials used. the use of reinforced concrete has made the use of shell-like structures commonplace.Shells ‘Shell’ is a word commonly used to describe the hard covering of eggs. is the key to its strength. embodies all of the aforementioned qualities. The shape of a shell. Nowadays. etc.

is therefore said to be under tension. They can be used to add strength to a structure. On close inspection. With the ruler positioned flat on the two blocks. Task: How do beams support? • • • • • • • Using a standard 300mm ruler and two blocks. It can be concluded from these tests that a beam will bend under a downward load. Discuss the results…what happened and why? What do you think would happen if a number of rulers were to be positioned on the flat on the two blocks? Repeat the test under these conditions. arrange the materials as shown in the diagram above.) to the rulers being removed. Now. © t4 Galway Education Centre 30 . whilst the bottom of the beam is being pulled apart and. add a weight to the centre of the ruler. Replace these with a single piece of wood of equal dimensions (approx. it can be seen that the top of the beam is being compressed. reposition the ruler on its edge and add the same weight to the centre of the repositioned ruler. beam Beams come in many different shapes.Beams A beam is a strip or section of material used to span a distance and support a load. Again repeat the test under these new conditions.

But what happens at the very centre? The answer is – somewhere in the middle. For this reason.Compression along the top of the beam Tension along the bottom of the beam As we move from the bottom of the beam to the top. Engineers designing beams know that very little happens along the neutral axis. This area is known as the ‘neutral axis’. Neutral axis (red line) As we know. very little happens. a beam must work hard on both top and bottom to resist the forces of tension and compression. we change from tension to compression. beams are designed in order to be strongest along their top and bottom. © t4 Galway Education Centre 31 .

as illustrated above. For this reason. as illustrated below Box section Circular section Can you identify some of the uses of these sections in everyday life? One such example of this is a bicycle. the amount of material used needs to be reduced. Why might it be important to have different sections of beam? 1. © t4 Galway Education Centre 32 . to reduce weight 4. It is necessary for a bicycle to be lightweight. in order to make cycling it easier. Therefore a bicycle is constructed using a circular section.Beam Span Post or column Beams are usually used in conjunction with what are known as posts or columns. These compose the upright element of the structure. to maintain strength In saving material. to save material 2. to reduce cost 3. some beams can be constructed in hollow sections.

accordingly reduces the cost of the product. Classroom Table Bicycle Frame These circular or box sections are sometimes referred to as ‘tube’. and when fixed together. Beams can be manufactured in many different shapes and sizes. they can lend enormous strength to a structure. Reducing the amount of material used by constructing a hollow beam or beam section. thereby making it more appealing to the consumer.Classroom tables are often constructed on a square or box section. Some examples of different beams shapes are illustrated below: Angle Beam © t4 Galway Education Centre 33 .

Beams can also be reinforced to provide additional strength. Strength of beam and weight of load are important factors to consider when choosing a beam. there are many different types of beam section. which have a diverse range of functions in addition to the construction of buildings and bridges. Some beams are manufactured in wood.Channel Beam Tee Beam Universal Beam or I Beam Universal Column or H Beam As already stated. as illustrated below. Beams and columns are not always constructed using steel. © t4 Galway Education Centre 34 . as seen in timber framed houses.

Beam Concrete Steel Head Column Steel Tie Base Can you identify some of the uses of beams in everyday life? Frames Frames are structures made from sections of materials. © t4 Galway Education Centre 35 .

Joints can be either fixed or pivoted. Pivoted joints are not very stable and if a large force is applied to a corner the frame may lose its shape. However. As shown above. stools and picture frames. © t4 Galway Education Centre 36 . the question must be asked…Are frames always rigid? If the frame is examined in more detail: A member is said to be a part of a complex structure. Their advantage is that they enclose spaces without filling them with solid material. A fixed joint is much stronger and can resist larger forces than a pivot joint. Member Joint A B How do you know if joints are fixed or pivoted – apply a force.Frames are used as the basis for the construction of many different artefacts. The point which the members meet or join is called a joint. such as gates.

screws and nuts. plastic or wood and some pins... e. What happens?. What happens when force is applied to a corner of the constructed frame? Can any conclusions be drawn from these tests? A rectangular or square frame is not a rigid structure.g. etc.Task Take thin strips of card. It relies on the strength of the joints for its rigidity. Member Adding one more member makes the frame stable. rectangle. Make up some polygon frames. hexagon. We can conclude from this that triangles are more stable and rigid structures. either remove or add a strut to create triangular shape within the structure. Now.The triangle does not distort. pentagon. Joint Can you identify the main shape which is repeated in the image below? © t4 Galway Education Centre 37 . square.

A triangle is one of the strongest frame shapes known to man. The implementation of this

concept in design is known as triangulation. The term triangulation is used to describe the arrangement of triangles together in the formation of a frame. Square, rectangular and other frames can be made more rigid by bracing. In other words, bracing involves placing a diagonal piece or strut to create a triangle. The construction of roof trusses is based on the principle of triangulation. The parts of a roof truss are identified as ties and struts. All structures have forces which act upon them.

A tie is the part of a structure which has tensile forces acting upon it. A strut is the part, which has compressive forces acting upon it. Identify the struts and ties in the following images.

© t4 Galway Education Centre


Task Take photographs or make sketches of triangulated structures. Identify the struts and ties within these structures, bearing in mind that a tie has tensile forces acting upon it and a strut has compressive forces acting upon it.

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Frame Analysis
The result of a measurement is always a number multiplied by a unit, e.g. 10mm (10 being the number and millimetres being the unit of measurement). Magnitude is what we call the size of the quantity being measured. • • • Something with magnitude and no direction is called a scalar quantity, e.g. 5kg Something which has both magnitude and direction is called a vector quantity, e.g. 5kg acting vertically downwards Vectors can be shown by straight lines. The direction can be indicated by an arrow and the magnitude by figures.

Calculating the Magnitude of the Perpendicular Components

y=v Sin Θ Θ Θ


x=v Cos Θ Θ If a vector of magnitude v has two perpendicular components, x and y, and v makes an angle Θ with the component x as shown above, then the magnitudes of the components are as follows: x=v Cos Θ Proof: In the shaded triangle above: Cos Θ = adjacent hypotenuse Ö Cos Θ = x v Ö x = v Cos Θ Sin Θ = opposite hypotenuse Ö y = v Sin Θ Ö Sin Θ = y v y=v Sin Θ

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14N © t4 Galway Education Centre . the mass (40kg) must be multiplied by 10.32N Calculation Two o 60 Problem: A person pulls a chain which is attached to a trailer 300N 20o with a force of 300N. Calculation Three Problem: A mass. is shown in the sketch.6N is required to keep the trailer on the ground and a horizontal force of 282N is required to prevent the trailer from moving along the ground.Calculations Calculation One Problem: Find the vertical and horizontal components of a vector of magnitude 20N acting at 60o to the horizontal 20N Solution: Horizontal component = x = 20 Cos 60o = 10N Vertical component = y = 20 Sin 60o = 17. The rope makes an angle of 20o with the horizontal.940) 282N Effective horizontal force = = = Note: It can be concluded from this calculation that a downwards vertical force of at least 102. which is simply supported by a frame.5) = 200N The force at C is calculated as follows: 400 Sin 60o =(400)(0. giving a force of 400N. Determine the magnitude of the forces acting on members B and C of the frame.6N 300 Cos 20o (300)(0. The force at B is calculated as follows: 400 Cos 60o = (400)(0.866) = 346. Find both the effective vertical and horizontal forces on the trailer due to the chain. The pin A on the frame is in equilibrium. Solution: Effective vertical force = 300 Sin 20o = = (300)(0. Solution: In order to firstly calculate the force of the mass in Newtons.342) 102.

however. the trustworthiness of the product is examined. occur all the time. as component failure could result in substantial financial loss. If the cable supporting the elevator will break under a load limit of 1000kg. This uncertainty could be attributable to any number of things. such as earthquakes. When allocating a Factor of Safety. However. due to the uncertain nature of its maximum functioning capacity. but is listed as having a maximum load limit of 100kg.Factor of Safety Imagine the following scenario. referring back to the previous scenario of the elevator. the higher its Factor of Safety will be. This is to allow for any uncertainty in the product. Factor of Safety is crucial in structural design. This can be easy to do when the structure can be taken away and checked. imply that a structure or design is safe. an elevator with a maximum load capacity of 6 people is carrying a load of 8 people. due to the fact that the margin of lee-way is less uncertain. Incidences exist in our past which highlight the importance of factor of safety. the less reliable a product is. what about the likes of a bridge? Natural disasters. from the strength of the material to the manufacture quality to human disregard for regulations. Tests are carried out to ensure the structure is safe. Disaster! So. For example a crane hook lifting and dropping heavy loads continually. However. What should happen if the hook is not up to the job? Which factors exist that lead to the hook being checked? As with all structures the responsibility of making sure they are safe falls to the engineer. it is listed as having a Factor of Safety of 10. Factor of Safety is used to provide a margin of leeway of flexibility over the theoretical Overcrowding capacity of the item in question. What do you think might happen in these circumstances? The lift should not ‘give way’ as something known as a Factor of Safety is implemented to ensure that the overloading of a lift will not result in disaster. but what about the © t4 Galway Education Centre 42 . the lower its Factor of Safety will be. serious injury or even death. The more trustworthy a product is. One of the many reasons for the failure of structures is its inability to withstand loading and unloading. The use of Factor of Safety does not.

so tragically. is used to provide a design margin to allow for uncertainty in the design process.. during the height of a Minneapolis rush hour. The uncertainty could be any one of a number of the components of the design process including calculations. material strengths. The selection of the appropriate factor of safety to be used in design of components is essentially a compromise between additional cost and weight and the benefit of increased safety and/or reliability. manufacture quality.. Aerial views of the Interstate 35 Bridge collapse The factor of safety or Safety Factor. U.S. The constant loading and unloading of the traffic across the bridge coupled with the increasing volumes of traffic led to the eventual collapse of the bridge. The value of the safety factor is related to the lack of confidence in the design process. Generally an increased factor of safety results from a heavier component or a component made from a more exotic material or / and improved component design © t4 Galway Education Centre 43 . Investigators found that two factors contributed to its failure: age and heavy use.disasters that occur due to the failure of the structure? One such example occurred in 2003 in Minneapolis. The simplest interpretation of the Factor of Safety is Factor of safety = Strength of Component / Load on component If a component needs to withstand a load of 200 Newton’s and a FoS of 4 is selected then it is designed with strength to support 800 Newton’s. duty.. when the Interstate 35 Bridge collapsed.

Low weight is important to design.3 environment. 1. proof loading. Add increasing weights as a universally distributed load until the truss fails.5 determined using checked calculations. 1. This time load and unload the weights at different points and times. (The maximum length of the truss to be 600mm and height 60mm.The factors of safety listed below are based on the yield strength. Task Investigate the different types of bridge trusses that exist for example – Box girder. Operating conditions known in detail Loads and resultant stresses and strains known with a high degree of certainty. Record all positions and times. regular inspection and maintenance required Materials obtained for reputable suppliers to relevant standards operated in normal environments and subjected to loads and stresses that can be 2 .25 . For untried materials used under average conditions of environment. regular inspection and maintenance. Which type of truss could withstand the greatest load? 3. Repeat for all the trusses in the same order and measure the amount the trusses bend and draw some conclusions.5 . Construct the trusses from 6mm square wood strips or equivalent. Should also be used with better-known materials that are to be used in 3-4 uncertain environments or subject to uncertain stresses. subjected to loads and stresses that can be determined using 1. Which type of truss could withstand the greatest load? 2. For less tried materials or for brittle materials under average conditions of 2. Factor of Safety Application Material properties known in detail. Known materials with certification under reasonably constant environmental conditions. or Warren girder.) Weight suspended from the truss.5 Material test certificates. Add increasing weights as a point load as shown above until the truss fails. © t4 Galway Education Centre 44 .2.5 . load and stress. attempting the replicate traffic on the bridge. load and 3-4 stress. Proof tests.1.2 qualified design procedures.

The see-saw is no longer in equilibrium. In order to understand this better. we need to understand pivots. When something is in equilibrium. as though it should topple over. It doesn’t fall because of the presence of a counter balance weight on the right-hand side. moments and equilibrium. The pivot point or fulcrum is the point at which something rotates. the moments of a force are balanced. the balance is tipped one way or the other. The weights on the scales are at equal points from the pivot point. © t4 Galway Education Centre 45 . if one of the people moves backwards or forwards.Moments The crane in the image below looks unstable. There appears to be too much of the boom on the left-hand side of the tower. The boom is therefore balanced. In the example of the see-saw. When something is balanced it is said to be in equilibrium.

the clockwise moments must equal the anti-clockwise moments. The Principal of Moments states that for there to be equilibrium. Moment = F x d Distance (d) Force (F) This can also be represented as illustrated below: The Moment of Force can also be called Torque. © t4 Galway Education Centre 46 . Torque can be defined as a force that tends to rotate or turn things.The Moment of a Force is calculated as the force multiplied by the distance from the pivot point. Torque is generated any time a force is applied using a wrench.

© t4 Galway Education Centre 47 .Clockwise Moments = F2 x d2 Anti-Clockwise Moments = F1 x d1 If F2 x d2 = F1 x d1 there is equilibrium Example Clockwise Moments = 20N x 1m Anti-Clockwise Moments = 10N x 2m 20Nm = 20Nm Therefore. the scales are in equilibrium.

g. pivoted about a fixed point or axis. See-saw 2. There are three types or class of lever. The way in which a lever will operate is dependent upon the type of lever.Levers A lever is a rigid rod.g. • • • Fulcrum or pivot – the point about which the lever rotates Load – the force applied by the lever system Effort – the force applied by the user of the lever system A lever can be used to move a large load with a small effort. Class Two e.g. which is known as a fulcrum. Class Three e. Shovel © t4 Galway Education Centre 48 . Wheelbarrow 3. Class One e. referred to as: 1.

The distance between the effort and the fulcrum. with the fulcrum in the middle. the effort on one side and the load on the other A see-saw is an example of a Class One Lever. © t4 Galway Education Centre 49 . scissors or weighing scales. Class One Class Two Class Three Can you give three examples for each class? Class One Levers • • • This is the most common type of lever.In each class the position of the Load. determine the mechanical advantage and the velocity ratio of the Class One Lever. Other examples are a crowbar. and the distance between the load and the fulcrum. Effort and Fulcrum are changed.

Class Two Levers • • • With a Class Two Lever. the load is at the other and the effort is in the middle A shovel is an example of a Class Three Lever. the fulcrum is at one end. Other examples are a pair of tweezers and a fishing rod A Class Three Lever allows a small load to be lifted by a larger effort © t4 Galway Education Centre 50 . Other examples include bottle openers. nut crackers and foot pumps A Class Two Lever allows a large load to be lifted by a smaller effort. the effort is at the other end and the load is in the middle A wheelbarrow is an example of a Class Two Lever. Because the load is always closer to the fulcrum. the pivot is at one end. the effort is always less than the load Class Three Levers • • • With a Class Three Lever.

By adjusting the lever. As the man exerts a small amount of effort to the end of the lever. This is an example of a mechanism. the rock is moved. Effort Load What is the Mechanical Advantage of this mechanism? Mechanical Advantage 400N = 4:1 or 100N Load Effort = 4 © t4 Galway Education Centre 51 . Mechanical Advantage = Load Effort Mechanical Advantage – Calculation The mechanism shown is being used to raise a weight of 400N.Mechanical Advantage The image below shows a man using a stake to lift a rock. it was found that the weight could be lifted with an effort of 100N. This gain in effort is known as Mechanical Advantage.

The lever is moved 85cm in order to raise the weight 17cm. the weight will move. Distance moved By load When enough effort is applied to the lever. The image on the right demonstrates the distance moved by the weight on application of force.Velocity Ratio Distance moved by effort Lever Load The image above shows the position of weight prior to force being applied. The Velocity Ratio = Distance moved by effort Distance moved by load Velocity Ratio – Calculation • • • The mechanism shown is being used to lift a weight. Distance moved By lever 85cm Distance moved By load 17cm What is the Velocity Ratio of the mechanism? Velocity Ratio = distance moved by effort distance moved by load = 17cm = 85cm = 5:1 or 5 © t4 Galway Education Centre 52 . The distance moved by the lever is greater than that moved by the weight. The difference is known as the Velocity Ratio. The 400N weight is moved with 100N of effort.

but it will act in the opposite direction Fulcrum or pivot point A Reverse Motion Linkage A Clothes Horse Push-Pull Linkages Push-pull linkages are used to move the output in the same direction as the input. This consists of levers with two fixed pivot points. then the output movement will be the same as the input movement.Linkages A linkage is a mechanism made by connecting two or more levers together. If the pivot point (fulcrum) is at the centre of the connecting lever. The movement is reversed by using a lever to form the linkage. Pivot point A Push-Pull Linkage Windscreen Wipers © t4 Galway Education Centre 53 . A linkage can be used to change the direction of a force or to make two or more things move at the same time. Windscreen wipers on a car operate using linkages Reverse Motion Linkages Linkages can be used to make things move in opposite directions.

Parallel motion is only achieved if the levers at opposite sides of the parallelogram are equal in length. then the movement of the output will be equal to the movement of the input. the movement will be different and the system will have Mechanical Advantage.Bell Crank Levers Bell Crank Levers are used when it is necessary to change the direction of movement or force through 900. Parallel Motion Linkage Toolbox © t4 Galway Education Centre 54 . If the fulcrum is at an equal distance from the input and output. Pivot point Bicycle Brake A Bell Crank Lever Parallel Motion Linkage This linkage can be used to make things move in the same direction at a set distance apart. Otherwise.

Crank and Slider © t4 Galway Education Centre 55 . (Note increase or decrease in distances moved) Note: If the pivot point of a reverse motion linkage is not in the centre of the connecting levers. then the movement of the output will not be equal to the movement of the input. Can you observe any similar traits in any of the other linkage types? Crank and Slider A Crank and Slider mechanism changes rotary motion to reciprocal motion or vice versa. as the connecting rod moves the crankshaft around.Task How do linkages work? Reconstruct each of the above linkage types using strips of card and paper pins. In a car engine. Examine the effect moving the positions of the pins (or pivot points) will have on the movement of the pieces of card. It is also possible to design a reverse motion linkage which will provide mechanical advantage. the reciprocating motion of the piston caused by exploding fuel is converted into rotary motion. A pneumatic air compressor uses this principle in reverse – an electric motor turns the crankshaft and the piston moves up and down to compress the air.

pulley The man in this image is pulling downwards on a bar. © t4 Galway Education Centre 56 . and its opposite end is connected to the weights at the bottom. Like most wheels. The centre of a pulley wheel features a groove. pulley wheels spin or rotate on an axis. belt or cable. Exercise Machine Parts of a Pulley System Effort – the force the man is applying to the bar Load – the weight being lifted Fulcrum – the pivot point of the pulley Direction of Force Notice that the pulleys change the direction of the applied force. it can be seen that the cable passes through the pulley wheels. the weights are moving upwards.Pulleys A pulley wheel is a mechanism which helps move or lift objects. which is attached to a cable. Although the machine is pulling sideward’s. Tracing the cable’s path through the machine. Nested in this groove is a rope.

Pulley on Weight-Lifting Machine © t4 Galway Education Centre 57 .Types of Pulley There are three basic types of pulley. These types of pulley are classified by the number of pulley wheels and their positioning. A ski-lift operates on a fixed pulley system 2. A Fixed Pulley This does not rise or fall with the load being moved. 1. A Moveable Pulley This type of pulley rises and falls with the load being moved. It also changes the direction of the applied effort.

if you use two pulleys. but you have to pull the rope twice as far. The Pulley Advantage A pulley really saves effort when you have more than one pulley working together. it takes half the effort to lift something. stand at the first floor. In other words. A pulley makes work seem easier because it changes the direction of motion to work with gravity. It would be the same amount of work in either case. needs to be lifted up to the second floor of a barn. stand on the second floor. like a bale of hay. However. and pull it straight up. Block and Tackle in use on a Boat Block and Tackle Pulley The Pulley The pulley is really a wheel and axle with a rope or chain attached. as you increase the number of pulleys. By looping a rope around two. and lift the bale of hay by pulling straight down. you could tie a rope to the bale of hay. Three pulleys will result in one-third the effort — but the distance you have to pull the rope is tripled! © t4 Galway Education Centre 58 . A Block and Tackle Pulley This consists of two or more pulleys (fixed and moveable). The block and tackle is capable both of changing the direction and creating a Mechanical Advantage.3. or even four pulleys. but the action of pulling down feels easier because you're working with the force of gravity. you can reduce the effort needed to lift something. three. If a heavy load. Or you could put a pulley at the second floor. you also increase the distance you have to pull the rope.

1 shows a pulley arrangement consisting of one pulley and a load on one end of the rope. The upper pulley is fixed in position and the lower pulley is moveable. Therefore. the force required by the person to keep the load in equilibrium is also half the load. Fig. This system has a Mechanical 100N Fig. there are four units of tension on the load. For the load and pulley to remain in equilibrium. Fig. The load is supported in two locations – at the rope end which is attached to the upper bar and at the end of the rope held by the person (via the upper pulley). 3 Advantage of 4:1 or 4. A quick way to work out the Mechanical Advantage of a system is to add the tension in the ropes. Therefore. then one unit of tension is applied to each of the four ropes attached to the load pulley. if one unit of tension is applied to the rope held by the person (via the large pulley fixed to the bar). 100N Each side of the rope carries half the load. © t4 Galway Education Centre 59 . Fig. In this simple pulley system. 3 shows a pulley arrangement consisting of four pulleys.Fig. For example. the person holding the end of the rope must pull down with a force that is equal to the load. 1 the Mechanical Advantage is 1:1 or 1. the force is equal to the load. so 100N Fig. 2 shows a pulley arrangement consisting of two pulleys. 2 This system has a Mechanical Advantage of 2:1 or 2.

Therefore.Calculation This pulley arrangement features a 4:1 Mechanical Advantage. then mechanical advantage and velocity ratio are introduced. If both pulleys are the same diameter. pulleys can change the relationship between force and distance. For example. In situations where no slip between the driven and driver pulleys can be allowed a vee pulley and vee belt will provide less slippage than a flat belt pulley system. The vacuum cleaner uses a pulley to transmit power from the electric motor to the rotating brushes.5m. A large drive pulley will cause a smaller driven pulley to rotate faster. How can pulleys assist work? Just like other simple machines. Many machines are often driven by round grooved pulleys and rubber belts. the output distance is divided and the output force is multiplied by the same factor. Pulleys and belt Calculation 1 Toothed belt and pulleys © t4 Galway Education Centre 60 . a load of 60kg can be lifted by only 15kg of effort! The Mechanical Advantage is calculated like so: Mechanical Advantage = Load / Effort = 60kg / 15kg Mechanical Advantage = 4:1 or 4 As already stated pulleys are used for transferring motion and force from one shaft to another. If more positive drive is required a toothed belt and pulley can be used. If one pulley is larger than another. pulling the rope 2m in order to lift a load 0. then they will both rotate at the same speed.

They are usually used on bicycles. camshafts and motorcycles. as 45 ÷ 15 = 3 © t4 Galway Education Centre 61 . for ever revolution of the front sprocket. So. Calculation 1 The sprocket on a bicycle has 45 teeth and the sprocket on the back wheel has 15 teeth. it will revolve more slowly Speed of driven pulley = 280 x 40 70 rev/min = 160 rev/min Chain and Sprockets Chains and sprockets provide direct drive with no slippage.If a 120mm diameter pulley drives a 60mm diameter pulley for each revolution of the driver pulley. as 120mm ÷ 60mm = 2 Calculation 2 The diameter of a motor pulley is 40mm and it revolves at 280 rev/min. What is its rotational speed? Note: As the driven pulley is larger than the motor pulley. the rear one will complete three full revolutions. The diameter of the driven pulley is 70mm. the driven pulley does two. When compared to the pulley and belt systems chain and sprocket will be far more reliable.

therefore it revolves more slowly.Calculation 2 The sprocket on an engine of a moped has 15 teeth and the sprocket on the back wheel has 120 teeth. If the engine revolves at 3200 rev/min. what is the rotary speed of the rear sprocket? Note: The rear sprocket is larger. Speed of rear sprocket = 3200 = = x 3200 15 120 x 1 8 400 rev/min © t4 Galway Education Centre 62 .

usually metal or hard-wearing plastic. namely rotary or linear. circular or drop shaped. Cam profiles can be pear. which is fixed to a rotating shaft. A cam is a specially shaped piece of material. heart.Cam and Follower • • • • The Cam and Follower is a device which can convert rotary motion (circular motion) into linear motion (motion in a straight line). • • • Pear Heart Circular Drop One complete revolution of the cam is called a cycle. Follower Cams Cam Followers (valves) Cams • • A cam can have various shapes. © t4 Galway Education Centre 63 . there will be one distinct event per revolution. These are known as cam profiles. There are several different types of cam. but most of these can be placed into two groups. As the cam rotates. Many machines use cams. A car engine uses cams to open and close valves.

as shown here. Follower profiles can be knife edge. Knife Edge Follower • Flat Foot Follower Off Set Follower Roller Follower As the cam rotates. flat foot. the follower moves accordingly. Follower Cam • The cam follower does not have to move up and down – it can be an oscillating lever.Followers • • A follower is a component which is designed to move up and down as it follows the edge of the cam. The exact distance it moves depends on the shape and size of the cam. © t4 Galway Education Centre 64 . off set or roller.

Follower Examples of other rotary cam profiles Square cam Rotary Cams in Operation This image depicts a cam used in an engine to control the movement of the valves. and lifts the follower four times each revolution. The ‘bumps’ on a cam are called lobes. has four lobes. Cam Follower Cam and Follower Mechanism of a Sewing Machine © t4 Galway Education Centre 65 . These cams are used in a pump to control the movement of the valves. The square cam illustrated.Rotary Cams • • • Rotary Cams change rotary motion into reciprocating (backwards and forwards) motion.

The profile of the cylindrical cam decides the movement of the follower. i. we can see the two different displacements represented by the red and green arrows. which is fixed. Linear cams change the direction (and magnitude) of reciprocating motion The shape of the surface of the cam determines how far the follower moves. The cylindrical cam rotates on an axis.Cam Linear Cams in Operation Follower Maximum distance moved by the follower Linear cam • • • The linear cam moves backwards and forwards in a reciprocating motion. curved arrow shows the angular displacement travelled by the cam. The red arrow shows the displacement of the follower. Cylindrical Cams in Operation • • • Cams can also be cylindrical in shape. The green. Here. © t4 Galway Education Centre 66 . the distance travelled up or down by the follower.e.

Gears • • • A gear is a wheel with teeth on its outer edge Gears rotate on a central axis and work with other gears to transmit turning force The teeth of one gear mesh (or engage) with the teeth of another. as depicted below • • Gears are used to transmit turning force They can also change the amount of force. needs to be transferred or changed in order to do something useful. © t4 Galway Education Centre 67 . windmill or other device. speed and direction of rotation The rotating force produced by an engine.

This is stated as 1:1 Gear Ratio – one turn of the input yields one turn of the output. however. In other words. This is always the case when two gears are meshed directly together. Driven gear Driver gear • • • In the above image.Driver and Driven • Two meshed gears always rotate in opposite directions. Inserting an idler gear between the driver and the driven is the simplest way to achieve this. it’s necessary for the driver and driven to rotate in the same direction. • Generally. thus providing the input force. then there will be no change in speed or force of input or output. Driver Idler gear Driven Gear Ratio • If a pair of meshed gears has a driver and driven of the same size. thus yielding the output force. the driver drives the driven. the Gear Ratio is calculated by counting the teeth of the two gears and applying the following formula: © t4 Galway Education Centre 68 . In other cases. Direction of Rotation • • • • The driver and the driven rotate in opposite directions. Sometimes it’s necessary to reverse the direction of rotation. The reverse gear in a car is a practical example of this. the smaller gear is the driver or input gear. the driven gear follows the driver. The driver’s teeth engage the teeth of the driven gear causing it to rotate.

The driven gear has 10 teeth. Calculate the Gear Ratio for the meshing teeth. Gear ratio = Number of teeth on driven gear (Velocity Ratio) Number of teeth on driver gear Gear ratio = Driver Driven = 100 25 = 4 1 This is written as 1:4 Speed of Driven Gear – Calculation A motor gear has 28 teeth and revolves at 100 rev/min. What is its rotational speed? Speed of driven gear = Number of teeth on driver gear x Number of teeth on driven gear Driver = Driven 28 x 100 10 100 Speed of driven gear = = 280 rev/min © t4 Galway Education Centre 69 .Gear ratio = Number of teeth on driven gear Number of teeth on driver gear Gear Ratio – Calculation A 100 tooth gear drives a 25 tooth gear.

it is a combination of two or more gear trains.Gear Trains • • • Multiple gears can be connected together to form a Gear Train If there is an odd number of gears in the Gear Train. which drives a gear of 80 T. Compound Gear Trains A compound gear train is one which has two or more gears attached to the same shaft. calculate the speed of the last. the output will rotate in the opposite direction to the input. Attached solidly to the second gear is a 32 T. If the first gear makes 100 rev/min. The middle shaft turns at 100 x 22 rev/min 46 and the last gear makes 100 x 22 x 32 46 80 = 19. Calculation A gear of 22 T drives another of 46 T. the output rotation will be the same direction as the input If there is an even number. In actual fact.13 rev/min © t4 Galway Education Centre 70 .

if the wheel gear has 60 teeth and the worm gear has one tooth.Worm and Wheel • • In a simple Gear Train. very high or very low Gear Ratios can be achieved by combining very large and very small cogs. For example. each anti-clockwise rotation of the pinion will result in a movement to the right of the rack. or by using a worm and wheel. Its major advantage lies in the fact that the worm is always the drive gear. The Velocity Ratio of a Worm and Wheel is easily calculated. This enables the worm and wheel to lift or lower significant weight without causing strain on the gearbox. e. Rack and Pinion Gears The Rack and Pinion Gear is used to convert between rotary and linear motion. the rack may be fixed and the pinion rotates. if the pinion has 12 teeth. Alternatively. as mentioned above. The worm gear is always the drive gear.g. because the worm has only one tooth. moving up and down the rack. Note: The distance moved by the rack corresponds directly with the number of teeth on the pinion. where large loads are to be lifted. For example. then Velocity Ratio is 1/60 = 1:60 • • A worm and wheel can be seen in everyday use in gear box systems. © t4 Galway Education Centre 71 . by a measure of 12 teeth. bridge lifting mechanism. Often the pinion rotates in a fixed position and the rack is free to move – this arrangement is used in the steering mechanisms of most cars. as in the illustration above.

allowing a car to run 2. It is only possible to do work if you have energy. they are called mitre gears. which can be applied. Heat Work – e. Bevel Gears Work exists everywhere. but energy cannot be created from nothing. its effects can be felt all the time.g. Work comes in a number of different forms. Energy exists and cannot be destroyed. Mechanical Work – e. If both gears have the same number of teeth. allowing lights to be turned on 3. Electrical Work – e. Bevel gears will provide some Mechanical Advantage or increase in Velocity Ratio. Three of these are: 1.Bevel Gears • • Bevel gears are used to transfer drive through an angle of 900. providing warmth from a fire Work = force x distance moved in direction of the force © t4 Galway Education Centre 72 . and although it cannot be seen.g.g.

All moving objects and machines only have limited power. but can be reduced. but it is only possible to do this at a certain rate. it reduces a machine’s power © t4 Galway Education Centre 73 . it causes parts to wear 3. Some machines are less efficient. They may be able to handle lots of energy. it produces heat 2. which can never be gotten rid of. the pressure between the surfaces increases 3. the surfaces become rougher 2. because they lose heat through friction. Some machines are very efficient because they lose very little energy. Efficiency (%) = Power output x 100 Power input Friction resists the movement of one surface over another.Power is the rate at which energy is converted from one from into another. Efficiency refers to the amount of energy lost through work. less friction-resistant materials are used Friction has a number of effects: 1. It is also necessary to consider the efficiency of the machine. Friction is increased as: 1. Average power used: total time taken total work done A windmill converts wind energy into mechanical energy The amount of power a machine can produce lots of energy is not the only factor to be considered when designing a moving object.

brass. using a lubricant. nylon or white metal 2. when smooth movement is necessary. creates friction when applied to the rubber of the tyre. like a roller bearing © t4 Galway Education Centre 74 . bicycle or car brakes would not work without friction. using moving bearings. to separate surfaces 3. thus causing the bicycle wheel to stop turning Sometimes friction is advantageous.The rough surface of the bicycle brake pads. ensuring that surfaces are as smooth as possible 4. such as oil or grease. This can be done by: 1. However. such as bronze. e. friction must be reduced. using low friction materials.g.

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