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What is torque?

November 25, 2023

What is torque?

Torque is a physical quantity usually used to describe the twisting force or torque exerted on an object when it rotates around an axis. It is the product of force and distance and is usually expressed in Newton meters (N·m). The concept of torque can be expressed in the following way:

Torque (N·m) = Force (N) × Distance (m)

where force is the force acting on the object and distance is the distance from the axis to the point of application of the force.

Torque has a wide range of applications in physics and engineering, particularly in the following areas:

Mechanical Engineering: Torque is a key parameter describing the performance and design of rotating machinery such as engines, electric motors, transmissions and bolts. It is used to determine the output power of mechanical devices, torque amplifiers, gear transmission systems, etc.

Automotive Engineering: Torque is an important parameter describing the output capability of a car engine. Automakers often report an engine's maximum torque, which helps evaluate a vehicle's dynamic performance.

Architecture and Structural Engineering: Torque is used in the design and analysis of supports, connections and rotating elements in building structures. For example, torque is used to calculate and select the size of bolts, nuts and screw piles.

Electronic Engineering: Torque plays an important role in connections and fastenings in electronic devices, such as when tightening screws and nuts.

Aerospace Engineering: Torque is a key parameter describing the performance of aerospace components such as aircraft engines, flight control systems and gyroscopes.

The direction of torque is the direction of rotation about an axis, and its magnitude depends on the magnitude of the force exerted on the object and the distance of the point of application from the axis. It is what causes an object to rotate about its axis, and it is an important factor in balancing the rotation.