Is every mechanical process or mechanical reversible?

Main Question or Discussion Point

Is evry mechanical process or mechanism reversiible?
By that i mean to say, Can we carry out every mechanism or process in reverse?

for eg: if i have a mechanism which converts rotary motion to oscillatory, can i use the same mechanism for changing the oscillatory motion to rotary, without making any modification in the mechanism?
 

Answers and Replies

Danger
Gold Member
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Welcome to PF.
The short answer is 'no'.
The simplest example might be a worm drive. That would be the same as a lead-screw (screw jack in some terminologies). It is absolutely not reversible. That's why they're used for things like automotive jacks.
 
Mech_Engineer
Science Advisor
Gold Member
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I can think of MANY mechanisms off the top of my head which can't be run in reverse. I can also think of many mechnisms which are very efficient in one direction, and very inefficient in the opposite direction.
 
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0
at least when i think of friction, i must say most of the mechanical processes are not reversible. One lose mechanical energy during the process. Perhaps... you are trying to mean... something else?
 
A falling brick is a mechanical system! Almost any process has a preferred direction and thermodynamically speaking there is no such thing as a reversible process in real life.
 

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