Questions | 5 |

Topics | Building Loads, Gear Ratio, Gear Trains, Power, Wheel and Axle |

**Dead load** is the weight of the building and materials, **live load** is additional weight due to occupancy or use, **snow load** is the weight of accumulated snow on a structure and **wind load** is the force of wind pressures against structure surfaces.

The mechanical advantage (amount of change in speed or torque) of connected gears is proportional to the **number of teeth** each gear has. Called gear ratio, it's the ratio of the number of teeth on the larger gear to the number of teeth on the smaller gear. For example, a gear with 12 teeth connected to a gear with 9 teeth would have a gear ratio of 4:3.

Connected gears of different numbers of teeth are used together to change the **rotational speed** and **torque** of the input force. If the smaller gear drives the larger gear, the speed of rotation will be reduced and the torque will increase. If the larger gear drives the smaller gear, the speed of rotation will increase and the torque will be reduced.

Power is the rate at which work is done, **P = w/t**, or work per unit time. The **watt (W)** is the unit for power and is equal to 1 joule (or newton-meter) per second. **Horsepower (hp)** is another familiar unit of power used primarily for rating internal combustion engines. A 1 hp machine does 550 ft⋅lb of work in 1 second and 1 hp equals 746 watts.

A wheel and axle uses two different diameter wheels mounted to a connecting axle. Force is applied to the larger wheel and large movements of this wheel result in small movements in the smaller wheel. Because a larger movement distance is being translated to a smaller distance, force is increased with a mechanical advantage equal to the **ratio of the diameters of the wheels**. An example of a wheel and axle is the steering wheel of a car.