Inclined Planes: Simple Machines Essay

791 words - 3 pages

Inclined planes are yet another simple machine that you use nearly every day. Any time you walk up a slight hill, you are using an inclined plane. Any time you ride your bike or drive your car up a hill on the way to school, you are using an inclined plane. Even when you push your grandma in her wheel chair up the handicap ramp you are using an inclined plane. So to summarize what an inclined plane actually is, it is a flat surface on an angle that is always used to multiply your force. BUT WAIT! You, Mr. Davis, and I both recently learned that that statement ISN'T always true. You concluded while watching the Olympics that snowboarding ramps aren't force multipliers, but speed multipliers. All inclined planes that are force multipliers have a length longer than their height. However, with snowboarding landing ramps, especially during the snowboard cross event, the big jumps have heights longer than the lengths. For IMA in inclined planes, you divide the length by the height, so when this scenario occurs, an IMA of less than one occurs which indicates a speed and displacement multiplier which are not very common.
The efficiency of inclined planes can differ extremely depending on the conditions. When the object moving up the incline is equipped with wheels, the efficiency tends to be in the 90% range due to its lack of friction. On the other hand, however, when something is just being slide up the incline by itself, that percentage can quickly decrease. As you will see on the required incline plane data, the efficiency is near 30%. This is due to the large amounts of friction which cause the AMA to be much less than the expected value.
There is another thing I learned about inclined planes as I did more research on them. There is something called the angle of friction or the angle of repose. This is the maximum angle at which an inclined plane can be when an object of some sort is able to rest on it without sliding down. This is calculated by finding the arctangent of the static coefficient of friction between the two objects. This information could be good to know when you are moving something large up an inclined...

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