Simple Machine operation – Bottle opener

Last updated on December 13th, 2022 at 05:04 pm

The following 2 sections will briefly cover the following:
1) How in a simple machine input force (effort) is converted to output force or resistance force?
2) How in a simple machine input work is converted to output work?
These 2 sections take ‘bottle opener’ as a simple machine and explains the operation.

Bottle opener – Input and Output force | Effort and Resistance force

How in a simple machine (bottle opener) input force (effort) is converted to output force or resistance force?

Let’s see how the input force and the Output force in the bottle opener are applied.

1) Input force: We lift the handle of the bottle opener. That means we apply an upward input force or Effort force on it. (say Fe as shown in the figure below) The handle of the bottle opener in our hands experiences an upward displacement. Hence work is done on the opener.

2) Output force: The opener, in turn, transfers a force (output force say Fr as shown in the figure above) on the cap and lifts it. Thus the opener does work on the cap. This output force exerted by the bottle opener or any other simple machine is also known as a Resistance force because it overcomes a Load or a Resistance. In this case, the Load is the cap of the bottle.

Simple Machine operation - Bottle opener
fig 1: bottle opener
Fe is the input Effort force and
Fr is the output resistance force

Learn about Mechanical Advantage

Simple machine – Input and Output Work

How in a simple machine (bottle opener) input work is converted to output work?

Input and Output work: Remember, the work that we do is called the input work, Wi. The work that the machine does is called the output work, Wo.

We know that as work is done it causes the transfer of energy by mechanical means.

(a) When we put work into a machine, such as a bottle opener then we transfer energy to the opener.

(b) The opener, in turn, does work on the cap and transfers energy to the cap.

(c) We must understand that the opener is not a source of energy, and therefore, the opener can’t provide the cap more energy than the amount of energy that we put into the opener.

Thus, the output work can never be greater than the input work.

The machine simply aids in the transfer of energy from us to the bottle cap.

Simple Machine operation – Bottle opener
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