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    Torque

    A twisting force that tends to cause rotation.

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    Torque, often represented by the symbol “τ” (tau), is a rotational or twisting force that acts on an object around an axis of rotation. It is a vector quantity, meaning it has both magnitude and direction. It’s measurement is a fundamental concept in physics and engineering and plays a crucial role in various applications, including mechanics, engineering, and automotive industries.

    Calculation variables include:

    Magnitude

    The magnitude is determined by multiplying the force applied to the object (F) by the distance from the axis of rotation (r) at which the force is applied. Mathematically, torque (τ) can be expressed as τ = F × r. The unit of torque in the International System of Units (SI) is the newton-meter (N·m).

    Direction

    Its value is a vector quantity, meaning it has both magnitude and direction. The direction of torque is defined by the right-hand rule, where the thumb of the right hand points in the direction of the rotational force, and the fingers curl in the direction of rotation.

    Axis of Rotation

    It always acts about a specific axis of rotation. The axis can be a fixed point or a line through which the object rotates.

    Lever Arm

    The lever arm (r) is the perpendicular distance from the axis of rotation to the point where the force is applied. It is also known as the moment arm. The longer the lever arm, the greater the torque produced for a given force.

    Units

    The SI unit of torque is the newton-meter (N·m), but other units, such as pound-feet (lb·ft), are also used in different contexts.

    Applications

    It is involved in numerous applications, including the rotation of machinery components, the tightening of bolts and nuts, the operation of engines, and the steering of vehicles. In mechanics, torque is used to analyse rotational motion, calculate work done in rotating systems, and determine the equilibrium of objects subject to rotational forces.

    Torque Wrench

    A torque wrench is a specialised tool used to apply a specific amount of torque to fasteners like bolts or nuts. It is commonly used in automotive and construction industries to ensure that fasteners are tightened to a precise torque value, helping to prevent over-tightening or under-tightening.

    Rotational Equilibrium

    In a system in rotational equilibrium, the sum of the torques acting on an object is equal to zero. This principle is often applied in statics and engineering analysis to solve problems involving rotational motion and balance.

    Transmission of Power

    Torque is a crucial factor in the transmission of power in mechanical systems, such as engines and gearboxes. High torque is often required to perform heavy-duty tasks, while low torque is used for precision and speed.

    Relevance in industry

    Understanding this concept is essential in engineering and physics, as it plays a fundamental role in describing and analysing rotational motion and the behaviour of mechanical systems. It is a key parameter in various engineering applications, from designing machinery to ensuring the safe and reliable operation of mechanical systems.

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