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A winch is a mechanical device that is used to wind up or wind out a rope or wire rope.

Velocity Ratio

The velocity ratio can be calculated as

VR = R / r              (1)


VR = velocity ratio

R = effort force radius (m)

r = load radius (m)


Effort Force

The force to raise a load can be calculated as

F = W / μ VR 

   = W r / μ R 

   = m ag r / μ R              (2)


F = force (N)

μ = mechanical efficiency of the system (equal to one for an ideal friction-less system,  a fraction less than one for real-world systems with energy losses due to friction)

m = mass (kg)

ag = acceleration of gravity (9.81 m/s2)

W = weight (N)

Example - Winch Effort Force

The effort force for a winch with small radius 5 mm and large radius 10 mm, efficiency 0.95 and load 1000 kg - can be calculated as

F = (1000 kg) (9.81 m/s2) (5 mm) / ((0.95) (10 mm))

   = 5163 N

Winch Calculator

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Related Topics


Motion of bodies and the action of forces in producing or changing their motion - velocity and acceleration, forces and torque.

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