Q:

What is the difference between a fixed pulley and a movable pulley?

A:

Quick Answer

A fixed pulley consists of a wheel fixed to a shaft and is used in conjunction with a belt to transfer energy to another fixed pulley. A movable pulley consists of a shell, a movable wheel and a rope. Movable pulleys are also know as block and tackle.

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Full Answer

Experts choose flagpoles as applications of fixed pulleys, while movable pulleys are utilized in modern elevators and weight lifting machines. According to Education.com, movable pulleys have a greater mechanical advantage, meaning that the input force is less than the force of the system. Although, experts say that movable pulleys require more rope pulls by the user as the weight has become lighter, but fixed pulleys require less pulls. According to TeachEngineering, fixed pulleys enable the user to take advantage of gravity, balance an object and help raise objects above one's head. Movable pulleys are useful to raising objects below one's head. Education.com lists a third compound, the multiple pulley, which is comprised of both fixed and movable pulley systems. These pulleys are easiest to lift objects, as the mechanical advantage increases in tandem with the inclusion of more ropes, as cited by TeachEngineering. Pulleys are one form of simple machines in addition to screws and levers.

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Related Questions

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    What type of pulley is on a flagpole?

    A:

    A pulley on a flagpole is an example of a fixed pulley. This kind of pulley has a wheel with an axle attached to a support structure, as in this case, the flagpole.

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    What is a movable pulley?

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    A movable pulley is a pulley that can freely move. This is only one of three types, the other two being fixed and compound pulleys. Examples of movable pulleys are elevators.

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    How do you make a pulley?

    A:

    To make a simple pulley, stick wire through an empty thread spool such that the spool can spin freely and attach the wire to a stationary object, then tie a small object such as a toy or pencil to a string and run the string from the ground up around the spool and back down to the small object. This will create a simple pulley system, where the string can be pulled down to lift the small object up towards the spinning thread spool.

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