The Function of a Wheelbarrow

Function of the average wheelbarrow…


What is the history behind the design of this machine?

The earliest wheelbarrows were used around 200 AD by soldiers in the armies of Chuko Liang, a Chinese general who developed the first recorded wheelbarrow. It had two wheels and was used to transport supplies to injured soldiers. Wheelbarrow came from the word “barrow.” Europeans invented the barrow. The barrow was a hard piece of equipment that was long and flat. The wheelbarrow is a better design because it has a wheel and can be pushed or pulled by only one person. The barrow had to be lifted by two people. Another invention was the carriage, which dates back as far as the Bronze Age. It was used to transport goods as well. However, carriages started to transport people as well, so most carriages eventually held a small amount of goods, if any. The wheelbarrow is a much better design for this task because it focuses on transporting goods. One final design is the stretcher. Before wheelbarrows, stretchers were used to move heavy materials around. They required at least two men on either end to carry the weight, like the barrow. Wheelbarrows are a better design because they can be pushed and pulled. To add to that, the wheelbarrow can be moved with only one person, unlike stretchers. This is the history behind the wheelbarrow.

How does this compound machine allow the task to be completed in an easier way, and how would the task be done without the machine?

With a wheelbarrow, goods can be transported while using less force. The amount of goods that you can transport increases too, meaning that you won’t have to make another trip to the good once you’ve unloaded the goods that you could carry. This means that distance can also be considered an advantage of a wheelbarrow. Without a wheelbarrow, the goods would probably need to be carried by hand, which would be much more difficult and could require several trips to be made, depending on the weigh and amount of the goods.

How does each of the simple machines play an important role in this compound machine and make work easier?

A wheelbarrow contains two simple machines, a lever and a wheel and axel.

The lever in a wheelbarrow is used to multiply the force that is applied to it. You are able to exert a small force to move a big distance. Since levers can convert a small force into a big force, less effort is required to move the wheelbarrow, creating force as the advantage of the lever. However, levers can also do something else when on a wheelbarrow. When you turn them, the force that you are exerting changes its direction. Levers can change the direction of your input force, meaning that direction is another advantage of a lever.

The wheel and axel in a wheelbarrow is used to give the wheelbarrow the ability to slide with a small amount of friction. Friction is the rubbing of one object or surface against another, and friction slows down moving objects, so the less friction happening on a wheelbarrow, the easier the wheelbarrow will be to push and pull. If there was no wheel on a wheelbarrow, the machine would be very difficult to move because there would be more surface area causing friction. With only a wheel causing friction, wheelbarrows can move without as much force needing to be exerted.

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Published in: Gardening


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