The term ideal machine refers to a hypothetical mechanical system in which energy and power are not lost or dissipated through friction, deformation, wear, or other inefficiencies. Ideal machines have the theoretical maximum performance, and therefore are used as a baseline for evaluating the performance of real machine systems.
A simple machine, such as a lever, pulley, or gear train, is "ideal" if the power input is equal to the power output of the device, which means there are no losses. In this case, the mechanical efficiency is 100%.
Mechanical efficiency is the performance of the machine compared to its theoretical maximum as performed by an ideal machine. The mechanical efficiency of a simple machine is calculated by dividing the actual power output by the ideal power output. This is usually expressed as a percentage.
Power loss in a real system can occur in many ways, such as through friction, deformation, wear, heat losses, incomplete chemical conversion, magnetic and electrical losses.
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“The machine unmakes the man. Now that the machine is perfect, the engineer is nobody. Every new step in improving the engine restricts one more act of the engineer,unteaches him.”
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