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Physics > Mechanics > Pulley System – How Does it Work?

Pulley System – How Does it Work?


The pulley system comes in use for providing us with a mechanical advantage. In this process, the amount of input pressure is multiplies, which helps in getting greater forces on load. These systems come in use typically for pulling or lifting heavy loads.

These also come in use for applying tension within the system. Force is a kind of influence that has direction as well as magnitude. Basically it is in the unit of Newton (N) which is changeable.

What is Pulley?

A wheel on an axel or a shaft which is designed for supporting movement and direction change in a belt or a taut cable, or transferring the power between a shaft and cable or a belt.

When we talk about a pulley that has a support of frame or a shell, it does not transfer power to the shaft. It comes in use to exert a force and for guiding the cable. The shell that supports this system is basically as a block. We refer to this over here as a sheave.


It might have a groove or many grooves between flanges that surrounds its circumference for locating the table or the belt. This system has a drive that might be a rope or a belt or can be a cable or can also be a chain.

It is assembled itself to create a block and tackle in a way to provide mechanical ease for the application of larger forces.

These systems are also assembled as a part of belt or chain drives in a way that it transmits power from a rotating shaft to the other.

Pulley System Design

The rope and pulley system that is basically a block and tackle. It specifies itself according to the use of a single rope that is in continuity.

This is for transmitting a tension force throughout one or more pulley systems and as a result, it lifts or moves a load.

The rope can be a strong cable or a light line. The list of simple machines includes this system that it is identified by the scientists of the Renaissance.

If these systems are not storing energy, then the count of the parts of the rope that act on the load is its mechanical advantage.

Method of Operation

The simplest theory for this system’s operation assumes that lines and the pulleys are without weight, and there is no loss of energy because of the friction.

Moreover, we also assume that the lines don’t stretch. In the equilibrium, the force applied to the moving block should sum to zero.

Moreover, the tension present in the rope should be equal for all its parts. This means that as a result the two parts of the rope that support the moving block must each support half of the load.

History of Pulley systems

There is no evidence that can directly support the first documented use of it and it’s system. On the other hand, it is said that the primitive pulley systems started working for the first time in 1500 BCE by the Mesopotamians to hoist or move water.

In history, there have been many times the use of the pulley system in multiple numbers of texts and drawings. This also includes work done by the people such as mathematicians from Greek and engineer Archimedes and also Alexandria’s Hero.

These pulley systems that were in the initial times. It would probably have played an important and significant role in the industry of construction where large and heavy loads such as timber would have required movement.

Solved Question for You

Ques. Pulley system requires:

(A). Wires.
(B). Loads.
(C). Ropes.
(D). Weight.

Ans. (C). Ropes

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Jose Enrique T. Sanchez

hi guys

Jose Enrique T. Sanchez
Jose Enrique T. Sanchez

science baby

Jose Enrique T. Sanchez
Jose Enrique T. Sanchez

how are you

Jose Enrique T. Sanchez
Jose Enrique T. Sanchez



Hey wassup, how did you end up here bruv?😂

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