A wheel and axle. Image credit MediaWiki

A wheel and axle. Image credit MediaWiki

ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: Machines: Wheel and axle

  • The wheel and axle operate on a principle similar to that of gears
  • A wheel is attached to an axle so that the two parts rotate together while effort/motion is transferred from the other
  • The circumference of the axle is much smaller than that of the wheel
  • For one turn of the axle the wheel moves a greater distance
  • The force on the axle is therefore much larger than on the wheel
  • The opposite is true in a winch
  • A large wheel turns a small axle
  • A small effort can thus be used to lift or drag a large load on the axle

A windlass on a deep well

  • Similar contraption is used to draw water from deep wells
  • Instead of a large wheel a handle/crank is used as a lever instead of a larger wheel

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page