What is a Wedge?
The wedge is the active twin of the inclined plane and one of the six classical simple machines. Unlike an inclined plane, which is stationary, a wedge does useful work by moving.
A wedge is made up of two inclined planes. These planes meet and form a sharp edge. For a wedge, the effort (force) is applied to the vertical (height) of the wedge.
We often see a wedge being used for many things –
- To separate portions of an object (chisel)
- To lift a heavy load (forklift)
- To hold an object in place and prevent it from moving.
The force yielded from the wedge is inversely proportional to the inclined angle. For instance, in a wide wedge, the force yielded is less as the inclined angle is large. So, if the inclined angle is small, the wedge yields a larger force and may do the job faster, than a wedge with a larger angle.
Look for objects around your house that use this principle. Hint- you use one to cut.
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