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Pulleys on a ship. In this context, pulleys are usually known as blocks. A pulley is a wheel with a groove along its edge for holding a rope or cable. It is a simple machine that helps change the direction and point of application of a pulling force. Pulleys are usually used in sets designed to reduce the amount of force needed to lift a load. The magnitude of the force is reduced, but it must act through a longer distance. Consequently, the amount of work necessary for the load to reach a particular height is the same as the amount of work needed without the pulleys. Pulleys can be found in many different applications around us. Not only are they used for the obvious lifting of objects, such as by cranes, but they are also used in modern automobiles and airplanes. Pulleys are also essential for most machines in some form or other.

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1 History 2 Types of Pulleys 3 Theory of Operation 4 Uses of Pulleys 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 External links 9 Credits

Types of Pulleys A fixed pulley. Plutarch reported that Archimedes moved an entire warship. further increasing the mechanical advantage. the axle is "fixed" or anchored in place. It is believed however that Archimedes developed the first documented block and tackle pulley system. That is.    Fixed A fixed or class 1 pulley has a fixed axle. . if one end of the rope is anchored. A movable pulley is used to transform forces. [1] It is not recorded when or by whom the pulley was first developed. this use resulted in considerable friction. they used the idea of a single fixed pulley to change the direction of a force.A block and tackle is a compound pulley where several pulleys are mounted on each axle. the origin of the pulley is unknown.History As is the case with all the simple machines. A fixed pulley is used to redirect the force in a rope (called a belt when it goes in a full circle. Compound A compound pulley is a combination fixed and movable pulley system. It is believed that by 1500 B. That is. But since there was no wheel to turn. o Block and tackle . Movable A movable or class 2 pulley has a free axle. Pulleys are able to change the direction of the force. people in Mesopotamia used rope pulleys for hoisting water. laden with men.C. When early peoples lifted heavy objects by throwing vines or other crude ropes over tree limbs. A movable pulley has a mechanical advantage of two. That is. pulling on the other end of the rope will apply a doubled force to the object attached to the pulley. as recorded by Plutarch. A fixed pulley has a mechanical advantage of one.E. A movable pulley. the axle is "free" to move in space. using compound pulleys and his own strength.

the force F on the pulley axle is equal and opposite to the sum of the tensions in each line leaving the pulley.  Diagram 2a .  A practical compound pulley corresponding to diagram 2a.Theory of Operation  Diagram 1 .  Diagram 2 .A basic equation for a pulley: In equilibrium. yielding an advantage of 2. The simplest theory of operation for a pulley system assumes that the pulleys and lines are weightless.a single movable pulley lifting a unit weight. in equilibrium. the total force on the pulley must be zero. but in which the lifting force is redirected downward. With this assumption. it follows that.A simple pulley system . The situation is schematically illustrated in diagram 1. The tension in each line is half the unit weight. It is also assumed that the lines do not stretch. and these tensions are equal. This means that the force on the axle of the pulley is shared equally by the two lines looping through the pulley.Another simple pulley system similar to diagram 2. For . and that there is no energy loss due to friction.

with an additional pulley redirecting the lifting force downward.  Diagram 3 . The weight lifted divided by the lifting force is defined as the advantage of the pulley system.A simple compound pulley system . A second basic equation for the pulley follows from the conservation of energy: The product of the weight lifted times the distance it is moved is equal to the product of the lifting force (the tension in the lifting line) times the distance the lifting line is moved. . yielding an advantage of three. which simply serves to redirect the lifting force downward.a movable pulley and a fixed pulley lifting a unit weight. so that the total amount of work done (force x distance) remains the same. yielding an advantage of three. In diagram 2. Although the force needed to lift the unit weight is only half of the unit weight.  Diagram 3a . The total force needed is divided between the lifting force (red arrow) and the "ceiling" which is some immovable object (such as the earth). the lifting force is directed in the same direction as the movement of the weight. The advantage of this system is two. A second pulley may be added as in diagram 2a. we will need to draw a length of rope that is twice the distance that the weight is lifted.a movable pulley and a fixed pulley lifting a unit weight. In this simple system. a single movable pulley allows a unit weight to be lifted with only half the force needed to lift the weight without assistance. The work is given by the effort times the distance moved.A simple compound pulley system . but now the vector sum of all forces is zero. The pulley simply allows trading effort for distance. it does not change the advantage of the system. the tensions in each line are still equal. It is important to notice that the amount of work done in an ideal pulley is always the same.the case where the lines are not parallel. The tension in each line is one third the unit weight. The tension in each line is one third the unit weight.

Note that the axles of the fixed and movable pulleys have been combined. The advantage of the block and tackle system is that each pulley and line is subjected to equal tensions and forces. This situation is shown in diagram 3a. The tension in each line is one-third the unit weight. but with no increase in advantage. however. Efficient design dictates that each line and pulley be capable of handling its load. Diagram 4a . Other pulley systems are possible. An additional pulley redirecting the lifting force has been added. The addition of a fixed pulley to the single pulley system can yield an increase of advantage. and no more. Uses of Pulleys . a block and tackle system can use the same line size throughout.A more complicated compound pulley system.A practical block and tackle pulley system corresponding to diagram 4a. However. In diagram 4a. the addition of a fixed pulley yields a lifting advantage of three. Other pulley designs will require different strengths of lines and pulleys depending on their position in the system. and some can deliver an increased advantage with fewer pulleys than the block and tackle system. It puts a limit for the number of pulleys we can use in practice. friction between the rope and pulleys will increase as more pulleys are added. yielding an advantage of four. a block and tackle system with advantage four is shown. and can mount the fixed and movable pulleys on a common axle. A practical implementation in which the connection to the ceiling is combined and the fixed and movable pulleys are encased in single housings is shown in figure 4b. For real pulleys.  Figure 4b . As in the case of diagram 2a. The above pulley systems are known collectively as block and tackle pulley systems. to the point that no advantage is possible. In diagram 3. The tension in each line is one quarter of the unit weight. another pulley may be added to reverse the direction of the lifting force. and the force on the axles of each pulley is two-thirds of a unit weight. This process can be continued indefinitely for ideal pulleys with each additional pulley yielding a unit increase in advantage.

NY: M. Evans and Company. pulleys have been an important aspect for the construction and operations of spacecraft and aircraft. The Lever And Pulley. ↑ Pulley. 2007) history . 1971. See also   Crane Mechanical work Notes 1. and Levers. ISBN 0531174204 External links    How a Block and Tackle Works. The Pulley System. 2007. NH: Delta Education. Pulleys. Nashua. Retrieved June 22.The history of earlier contributions by wikipedians is accessible to researchers here:  Cranes-Pulleys (Jun 20. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3. Retrieved June 22. Wheels. Inc. from vehicles to moving equipment such as cranes. Another major use for pulleys is with cranes. Even in the space age. To cite this article click here for a list of acceptable citing formats. Credits New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards.0 License (CC-by-sa). 2007. 2007. Pulleys have been used also in modern times with various machines and systems. ISBN 0875048110 Hellman. Lesson Plan on Pulleys.Pulleys have been used for lifting for thousands of years. Retrieved June 22. Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. New York. The block and tackle have been a key tool for raising sails and cargo. which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. – The Society of Women Engineers (SWE). 2000. Hal Hellman. ISBN 0871310724 Seller. 2007. – How Stuff Works. New York: Gloucester Pr. Harold. References    Delta Education. It is with a pulley system that rudders for an aircraft are controlled. MSN Encarta 2007. Mick. The most prevelant and oldest example are their uses on ships and boats. Levers and Pulleys. and Lynn Sweat. 1993. Retrieved June 22. Pulleys are used in everyday life.

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