A wedge is one of the six classical simple
machines. It is a triangular shaped tool that looks like a small and portable inclined plane . It can be used to separate two
objects or portions of an object, lift an object, or hold an object in place.
A wedge is actually like a moving inclined
plane. A fairly weak force, applied to the wide or blunt end of a wedge whose
narrow end is being pushed into something, will send a strong force pushing out
at the sides.
The mechanical advantage of a
wedge is given by the ratio of the length of its slope to its width at the wide
end . A wedge with narrower angle has a higher mechanical advantage.
Use a wedge of steel and
bang it into the end of a log, the log will split open. We can use
the wedge action to cut and shape ice and wood sculptures, clay or
A wedge may seem like a simple
tool. But the wedge is very important while doing work, crafts, or
at play. It's a lot easier to move an object using a wedge than if
it were moved by only your hands.
TRY THIS EXPERIMENT
To see how a wedge works, hold the
point of a nail on top of a piece of thick cardboard. Press the nail
down against the cardboard. The point enters the cardboard first and
makes a path for the larger part of the nail to enter and separate
ON YOUR OWN
Make a list of different wedges you
have around your home or in your classroom.
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