# Block and tackle

Block and tackle

A block and tackle ["Tackle" can be pronEng|ˈteɪkəl in this usage.] is a system of two or more pulleys with a rope or cable threaded between them, usually used to lift or pull heavy loads.

__TOC__

Overview

Although used in many situations, they are especially common on boats and sailing ships, where motorized aids are usually not available, and the task must be performed manually. The block and tackle pulley was probably invented by Archimedes.

A Block is a set of pulleys or "sheaves" all mounted on a single axle. When rope or line is run through a block or a series of blocks the whole assembly is called a Tackle. It usually is a compound machine.

The most common arrangement of block and tackle is to have a block attached to a fixed position (the fixed or standing block), and another block left to move with the load being pulled or lifted (The moving block).

The mechanical advantage of a block and tackle is equal to the number of parts in the line, that either attach to or run through the moving block, or the number of supporting ropes. For example, take a block and tackle with 2 sheaves on both the moving block and the fixed block. If one compares the blocks, one will see one block will have 4 lines running through its sheaves. The other will have 4 lines running through its sheaves (including the part of the line being pulled or hauled), with a 5th line attached to a secure point on the block. If the hauling part is coming out of the fixed block, the block and tackle will have a mechanical advantage of 4. If the tackle is reversed, so that the hauling part is coming from the moving block, the mechanical advantage is now 5.

The mechanical advantage of a tackle is relevant, because it dictates how much easier it is to haul or lift your load. A tackle with a mechanical advantage of 4 (a double tackle) will be able to lift 100 lbs with only 25 lbs of tension on the hauling part of the line. In the diagram on the right the mechanical advantage of the tackles shown is as follows:
* Gun Tackle = 2
* Luff Tackle = 3
* Double Tackle = 4
* Gyn Tackle = 5
* Threefold purchase = 6

The formula used to find the effort required to raise a given weight is:

$S * P =W +frac\left\{nW\right\}\left\{10\right\}$

Where:
S is the power in the hauling part.
P is the power gained by the purchase (this is the same as the number of parts at the moving block).
n is the number of sheaves in the purchase.
W is the weight lifted.
10 is the denominator of the fraction for friction. An arbitrary 10%.
[Notes on cargo work: Kemp and Young. 3rd Edition. SBN 853090408 Page 4]

Mechanical advantage correlates directly with velocity ratio. The velocity ratio of a tackle refers to the relative velocities of the hauling line to the hauled load. A line with a mechanical advantage of 4, has a velocity ratio of 4:1. In other words, to raise a load at 1 meter per second, 4 meters of line per second must be pulled from the hauling part of the rope.

Friction

The increased force produced by a tackle is offset by both the increased length of rope needed and the friction in the system. In order to raise a block and tackle with a mechanical advantage of 6 a distance of 1 metre, it is necessary to pull 6 metres of rope through the blocks. Frictional losses also mean there is a practical point at which the benefit of adding a further sheave is offset by the incremental increase in friction which would require additional force to be applied in order to lift the load. Too much friction may result in the tackle not allowing the load to be released easily [Friction may mean that the rope in a tackle "bunches" and jams when the force is released if the tackle has too much friction for the load to balance, or that the tackle does not "lower" the load] , or by the reduction in force needed to move the load being judged insufficient because undue friction has to be overcome as well.

Rigging methods

A tackle may be
*"Rigged to advantage" - where the pull on the rope is in the same direction as that in which the load is to be moved. The hauling part is pulled from the moving block.
*"Rigged to disadvantage" - where the pull on the rope is in the opposite direction to that in which the load is to be moved. The hauling part is pulled from the fixed block.

While rigging to advantage is obviously the most efficient use of equipment and resources, there are several reasons why rigging to disadvantage may be more desirable. The decision of which to use depends on pragmatic considerations for the total ergonomics of working with a particular situation. Lifting from a fixed point overhead is an obvious example of such a situation.

* Block
* Crane
* Tripod
* Two six heave
* Winch
* Trucker's hitch

Notes

reflist

References

* Rescue Technician: Operational Readiness for Rescue Providers, edited by Claire Merrick et al., published by Mosby, Inc., St. Louis, Mo., 1998, copyright held by Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute. ISBN 0-8151-8390-9 See Chapters 4 and 5, p. 41 and ff.

*cite web |url=http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/pulleysystem.htm |title=Pulley System (Model and demonstration) |accessdate=2007-10-20 |format=JAVA applet|last=Fendt |first=Walter |year=1998 |month=March

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

### Look at other dictionaries:

• block and tackle — Tackle Tac kle (?; sometimes improperly pronounced ?, especially by seamen), n. [OE. takel, akin to LG. & D. takel, Dan. takkel, Sw. tackel; perhaps akin to E. taw, v. t., or to take.] 1. Apparatus for raising or lowering heavy weights,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• block and tackle — ► NOUN ▪ a lifting mechanism consisting of ropes, a pulley block, and a hook …   English terms dictionary

• block and tackle — n [C usually singular] a piece of equipment with wheels and ropes, used for lifting heavy things …   Dictionary of contemporary English

• block and tackle — noun count usually singular a piece of equipment that consists of wheels and ropes, used for lifting heavy objects …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

• block and tackle — n. an arrangement of one or more pulley blocks, with rope or cables, providing significant mechanical advantage for pulling or hoisting large, heavy objects …   English World dictionary

• block and tackle — Pulley Pul ley, n.; pl. {Pulleys}. [F. poulie, perhaps of Teutonic origin (cf. {Poll}, v. t.); but cf. OE. poleine, polive, pulley, LL. polanus, and F. poulain, properly, a colt, fr. L. pullus young animal, foal (cf. {Pullet}, {Foal}). For the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• block and tackle — the ropes or chains and blocks used in a hoisting tackle. [1830 40] * * * Combination of pulleys with a rope or cable, commonly used to augment pulling force. Two or more of the pulleys are attached to a fixed block, and the remaining pulleys are …   Universalium

• block and tackle — noun pulley blocks with associated rope or cable • Hypernyms: ↑hoist • Part Meronyms: ↑pulley, ↑pulley block, ↑pulley block, ↑block * * * noun [singular] : a simple machine that is used to help lift heavy objects and that consists of rope and… …   Useful english dictionary

• block and tackle — UK / US noun [countable, usually singular] Word forms block and tackle : singular block and tackle plural blocks and tackles a piece of equipment that consists of wheels and ropes, used for lifting heavy objects …   English dictionary

• block and tackle — block′ and tack′le n. bui the ropes or chains and blocks used in a hoisting tackle • Etymology: 1830–40 …   From formal English to slang