Gears

How Gears Work

Gears are used in tons of mechanical devices. They do several important jobs, but most important, they provide a gear reduction in motorized equipment. This is key because, often, a small motor spinning very fast can provide enough power for a device, but not enough torque. For instance, an electric screwdriver has a very large…

Hydraulic Crane

How Hydraulic Cranes Work

Heavy rains spawned by Hurricane Danny flooded many parts of Charlotte, N.C. Floodwaters rose so quickly in Little Sugar Creek that the underpinnings of a train trestle collapsed, bringing a diesel locomotivecrashing down into the creek. As you might imagine, a 412,000-pound (186,880-kilogram) locomotive is not easily lifted. After the waters receded, emergency teams brought…

Hydraulic Machines

How Hydraulic Machines Work

From backyard log splitters to the huge machines you see on construction sites, hydraulic machinery¬†is amazing in its strength and agility! On any construction site you see hydraulically operated machinery in the form of bulldozers,backhoes, shovels, loaders, fork lifts and cranes. Hydraulics operate the control surfaces on any large airplane. You see hydraulics at car…

diesel engine

How Diesel Engines Work

One of the most popular HowStuffWorks articles is How Car Engines Work, which explains the basic principles behind internal combustion, discusses the four-stroke cycle and talks about all of the subsystems that help your car’s engine to do its job. For a long time after we published that article, one of the most common questions…