Exploring the Effects of Friction and Rotation on Tension in Pulley Systems

In summary, when there is friction present in a pulley or a rotating pulley, it affects the uniform tension in the rope by either decreasing or increasing it, depending on the direction of the frictional force. If the pulley itself rotates, the tension in the rope may become non-uniform due to the change in direction of the rope as it wraps around the pulley. However, the total force on the pulley will still be zero.
  • #1
ual8658
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[mentor's note: Spilt from https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/tension-questions.852525]

How does friction in a pulley or a rotating pulley change the uniform tension in a rope that was present in an ideal situation? Thanks!
 
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  • #2
ual8658 said:
[mentor's note: Spilt from https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/tension-questions.852525]

How does friction in a pulley or a rotating pulley change the uniform tension in a rope that was present in an ideal situation? Thanks!

If the pulley is not accelerating, then the total force on it is zero. So what are the forces acting on the pulley? Tension in the rope coming in from one side, tension in the rope coming in from the other side, frictional force... They have to sum to zero.

Note that this is exactly the same procedure that you'd go through with an ideal frictionless pulley as well; it just so happens that in that case the frictional force is zero so doesn't contribute to the sum.
 
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  • #3
So if there were friction how would the tension be affected? Would it decrease, increase, become non-uniform? And if the pulley itself rotates, how does tension change?
 

Related to Exploring the Effects of Friction and Rotation on Tension in Pulley Systems

1. What is the difference between an ideal and non-ideal pulley?

An ideal pulley is a frictionless, massless wheel that can change the direction of a force without changing its magnitude. A non-ideal pulley, on the other hand, has friction and a certain amount of mass, which can affect the tension and force calculations in a system.

2. How does the presence of friction in a pulley affect tension in a system?

Friction in a pulley can cause a decrease in the tension in a system. This is because some of the force is used to overcome the friction, rather than being transmitted to the other side of the pulley.

3. Can a non-ideal pulley affect the mechanical advantage of a system?

Yes, a non-ideal pulley can affect the mechanical advantage of a system. This is because the presence of friction and mass can cause a decrease in the tension, which in turn affects the force ratio between the input and output sides of the pulley.

4. How can the effect of a non-ideal pulley on tension be minimized?

The effect of a non-ideal pulley on tension can be minimized by using lubrication to reduce friction and choosing a pulley with a larger diameter to decrease the effect of its mass on the system. Additionally, using multiple pulleys in a system can distribute the load and reduce the effects of friction on tension.

5. Is it possible to have an ideal pulley in a real-world scenario?

No, it is not possible to have a completely ideal pulley in a real-world scenario. However, engineers and scientists strive to design and use pulleys with minimal friction and mass in order to minimize the effects on tension and improve the efficiency of systems.

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