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Wedge – Simple Machines

A wedge is a moving inclined plane. It can be used to raise objects, split them in two, or hold them in place.

Another example of a wedge is a doorstop, that keeps a door inclined to close because of its springs from closing.

Your father or mother probably has a razor for shaving hair off their face or legs. Razors are thin wedges.

A wedge is two inclined planes set base-to-base. Its greatest use is for cutting or splitting objects.

Scissors are two thin wedges that slide against each other to break something in half.

A knife is a thin wedge used to split food into two pieces.

The Wedge (Ramp)
A wedge is simply a triangular tool, often made of metal, wood, stone or plastic. It is thick on one end and tapers to a thin or sharp edge on the other end. Technically it is an inclined plane (or two inclined planes put together to form a triangle) that moves. A wedge may be attached to a handle to make it easier to use. Good examples of wedges are nails, knives, axes and your teeth!

The Wedge
As a double incline, its ideal mechanical advantage is the ratio of the depth of penetration L to the amount of separation achieved t. Note that the input force for a simple incline works along the incline, i.e., the hypotenuse of the triangle. For the wedge, the working force drives the wedge inward, and the driving force times the depth of penetration is the input work to the machine.

by Kelly Doudna
Wheel and axle, wedge, and screw. Lever and pulley and inclined plane, too! Learning about the six simple machines has never been more fun! Through exciting science projects and activities kids can easily do at home or school, tomorrow’s scientists and engineers will have a blast learning about simple machines and how they make daily life easier. This book is the perfect STEM companion for curious minds at home or in the classroom.
Book includes: biographical spotlights on famous scientists and inventors; introduction to each simple machine, including real-world examples & history; materials & tools list; infographics; step-by-step instructions and photos; safety information; timeline; glossary; and index.

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