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Force Acting on Body Moving on Inclined Plane

Required force to move a body up an inclined plane

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Inclined plane - force to pull a body

If we neglect friction between the body and the plane - the force required to move the body up an inclined plane can be calculated as

Fp = W h / l

    = W sin α

    = m ag sin α                            (1)


Fp = pulling force (N, lbf)

W = m ag 

    =  gravity force - or weight of body (N, lbf)

h = elevation (m, ft)

l = length (m, ft)

α = elevation angle (degrees)

m = mass of body (kg, slugs)

ag = acceleration of gravity  (9.81 m/s2, 32.174 ft/s2)

By adding friction - (1) can be modified to

Fp = W (sin α + μ cos α) 

    = m ag (sin α + μ cos α)                            (2)


μ = friction coefficient

Example - Pulling Force on Inclined Plane

A body with mass 1000 kg is located on a 10 degrees inclined plane. The pulling force without friction can be calculated as

Fp = (1000 kg) (9.81 m/s2) sin(10o)

   = 1703 N

   = 1.7 kN

Inclined plane - force acting on a body - diagram

Online Inclined Plane Force Calculator - SI Units

The calculator below can be used to calculate required pulling force to move a body up an inclined plane.

mass of body - m - (kg)

elevation angle - α - (degrees)

friction coefficient - μ - (zero when neglecting friction)

Online Inclined Plane Force Calculator - Imperial Units

mass of body - m - (slugs)

elevation angle - α - (degrees)

friction coefficient - μ - (zero when neglecting friction)

Angle of Repose

A body resting on a plane inclined at at an angle α to the horizontal plane is in a state of equilibrium when the gravitational force tending to slide the body down the inclined plane is balanced by an equal and opposite frictional force acting up the inclined plane.

For equilibrium the "angle of response" α can be expressed as:

μ = Fp / Fn = (W sin α) / (W cos α) = tan α                                   (3)

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Related Topics

Related Documents

Tag Search

  • en: forces inclined planes friction
  • es: fuerzas de fricción planos inclinados
  • de: Kräfte geneigten Ebenen Reibung
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  • Engineering ToolBox, (2008). Force Acting on Body Moving on Inclined Plane. [online] Available at: [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

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