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Worksheet 306

Calculate the force the biceps muscle must exert to hold the forearm and its load as shown in the figure below, and compare this force with the weight of the forearm plus its load. You may take the data in the figure to be accurate to three significant figures.


(a) The figure shows the forearm of a person holding a book. The biceps exert a force FB to support the weight of the forearm and the book. The triceps are assumed to be relaxed. (b) Here, you can view an approximately equivalent mechanical system with the pivot at the elbow joint

Strategy

There are four forces acting on the forearm and its load (the system of interest). The magnitude of the force of the biceps is FB, that of the elbow joint is FE, that of the weights of the forearm is wa , and its load is wb. Two of these are unknown FB, so that the first condition for equilibrium cannot by itself yield FB . But if we use the second condition and choose the pivot to be at the elbow, then the torque due to FE is zero, and the only unknown becomes FB .

Solution

The torques created by the weights are clockwise relative to the pivot, while the torque created by the biceps is counterclockwise; thus, the second condition for equilibrium (net τ = 0) becomes

Force (Newton's second law)
Torque
Force (Newton's second law)
Torque

Note that sin θ = 1 for all forces, since θ = 90º for all forces. This equation can easily be solved for FB in terms of known quantities,yielding. Entering the known values gives

Mechanical equilibrium - 3=3 Torque example

which yields

Torque
Addition

Now, the combined weight of the arm and its load is known, so that the ratio of the force exerted by the biceps to the total weight is

Division

Discussion

This means that the biceps muscle is exerting a force 7.38 times the weight supported.

Reference : OpenStax College,College Physics. OpenStax College. 21 June 2012.
http://openstaxcollege.org/textbooks/college-physics
Creative Commons License : http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Torque (with angle)

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Worksheet 302

In the wheelbarrow of the following figure the load has a perpendicular lever arm of 7.50 cm, while the hands have a perpendicular lever arm of 1.02 m.(a) What upward force must you exert to support the wheelbarrow and its load if their combined mass is 45.0 kg? (b) What force does the wheelbarrow exert on the ground?


(a) In the case of the wheelbarrow, the output force or load is between the pivot and the input force. The pivot is the wheel’s axle. Here, the output force is greater than the input force. Thus, a wheelbarrow enables you to lift much heavier loads than you could with your body alone. (b) In the case of the shovel, the input force is between the pivot and the load, but the input lever arm is shorter than the output lever arm. The pivot is at the handle held by the right hand. Here, the output force (supporting the shovel’s load) is less than the input force (from the hand nearest the load), because the input is exerted closer to the pivot than is the output.

Strategy

Here, we use the concept of mechanical advantage.

Force (Newton's second law)
Mechanical Advantage - Law of Lever
Subtraction

Discussion
An even longer handle would reduce the force needed to lift the load. The MA here is:

Division

Reference : OpenStax College,College Physics. OpenStax College. 21 June 2012.
http://openstaxcollege.org/textbooks/college-physics
Creative Commons License : http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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