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2014 2015

TOPIC : - MEASURE THE

TORQUE OF AN
ELECTRIC MOTOR BY THE MASS LIFTED BY
THE MOTOR

STANIA FRANCIS

CLASS XI C
G.R NO: 20807

ELECTRICITY
Aim Measure the torque of an electric motor by the mass lifted by the motor.
Description - In order to measure the torque, the electric motor is suspended off the
ground and a string is attached to the axel of the motor while the other end of the string is
attached to different weights. The distance the motor lifts the weights off the ground is
measured.
1) Motors are a large part in our daily lives. Electric motors are used in smaller applications, where power and
torque are not as demanding
2)

Electric motors use attraction and repulsion forces found in magnetic to achieve its rotational energy. In the
following experiment will be determining the relationship between torque and mass.

3)

Electric motors get their rotational energy from the attracting and repelling forces of magnetism. As many of us
learn at a young age, two opposite magnets attract. Once they have reached each other, they arrive at a resting
point and all energy transfer is concluded. The concept behind electric motors takes this action of opposites
attracting, puts it on an axel and adds repulsion forces. Once the two opposites meet each other, unlike the
previous example, the do not stay still. The polarity of the inner solenoid switches and causes the two solenoids
which just met to repel each other and complete another half cycle.

Build Process
It is a simple DC motor involving 4 solenoids. 2 which act as magnets, as their polarity
does not change, and two that rotate on the axel and do switch current. An illustration of
Materials Required
Wood

Wire
Coil wire
Nails (must be ferromagnetic)
Steel axel
Bearings
Copper
Cardboard
Lugs
Screws
Glue
Battery

Tools
Handsaw
Drill
Hammer
Scissors
Compass

Procedure : 1. Cut the wood into 2- 12x12 pieces which will act as the lid and base
2. Cut some 2x4 wood into 4 - 8.5 pieces which will attach the lid and base as well as act as a position to
attach the outer solenoids
3. Drill a hole the diameter of your steel axel in the center of both the lid and base

4. Then drill a hole the size of your bearings, just deep enough to allow them to recess, but not as far to let
them out the other side.
5. Place you bearing in the hole and cut a piece of card board out larger then your bearing. Cut a hole in the
middle the size of your axel. Center the hole of the cardboard with the hole of you bearing and glue it in
place. This will make sure the bearing doesn't fall out.
6. On one of the pieces of 12"x12" wood, fasten a piece of copper over the hole opposite the side of the
cardboard. This will restrict the axel from falling out that side.
7. Now take your ferromagnetic nails and wrap several tight loops around it. Leave enough of the sharp end
of the nail to be able to nail it into the 2x4. The more loops the stronger your magnetic field. Make sure to
always wrap in the same direction to best amplify the field. End wrapping at the same end you started so
both ends of the wire are on the same side. A drill makes it easy to guide the wire in one hand and wrap by
pulling the trigger with the other.
8. Nail the two outer solenoids to the 2x4s leaving the wires hanging out the sides.
9. Get a piece of wood doweling that is larger in diameter then your axel. Cut a piece long enough to nail the
other two solenoids into the circular faces while leaving enough room to drill a hole through the center the
10. Drill a hole the size of your axel through the side of your dowel to allow the solenoids to rotate
perpendicular to the axel.
11. Nail the remaining solenoids to the circular faces of the dowel leaving the wires hanging out the side. This
12. Cut another piece of doweling no longer then 1 in length
13. Drill a hole the size of your axel through the circular faces
14. Get 2 pieces of thin copper plate the length of the dowel you just cut and slightly less the half the
15. Notch out a space on this dowel to place a lug and then place the copper plate on top and put a screw
through connecting the copper and lug to the dowel. Repeat this with the other piece of copper. Make sure
to leave equal gaps on each side between the copper plates. This will act as the commutator in the motor
16. Slide both the commutator and inner solenoids (put the commutator on top) onto the axel lining up the gaps
in the commuter perpendicular to the direction of the nails of the inner solenoids. Attach these with some
super glue
17. Attach one end of the wire on one solenoid to an end of the other solenoid. The two remaining ends will be
attached to the lugs of the commutator. The two inner solenoids need to be opposite in polarity. Test this
using a compass and a battery. If they are not opposite, then switch one of the ends of a solenoid

18. Put the axel through the lid and base pieces. Line up the two 2x4s with the solenoids attached on opposite
sides. Try to position them so when the nails on the inner solenoid are in line with the outer solenoids,
there is a minimal gap (less then ). This will increase the effect of the attraction and repulsion forces
19. Once everything is in line, attach the 2x4s with solenoids to the lid and base. Once this is done, test to
ensure the axel can freely rotate. If successful, attach the other 2 2x4s for better support.
20. Now cut 2 pieces of dowel equal in length as the distance from the lid to the base of the commutator
21. Attach these in line with the outer solenoids approximately 1 from the commutator
22. Cut 2 piece of copper a tall as your commutator and long enough to attach to the newly placed doweling
and brush the sides of the commutator. These will act as brushes to allow the current over the inner
solenoids to switch direction and polarity
23. Notch another space on each of the new pieces of doweling for lugs and then attach the lugs and copper to
the dowel the same as on the commutator
24. Now there are 3 points which need power. Simply wiring everything to a positive and negative point on the
lid would make powering the motor easier. To do this first attach the two outer solenoids on the lid, similar
to the inner ones, ensuring that they are opposite in polarity. Use a compass to check
25. Once this is done, you can connect either wire from the outer solenoid to either wire on the inner solenoid.
Below is a picture of an electrical drawing

Results - For this experiment I am going to assume potential engery at the top is equal to the amount of kinetic
energy it took the motor to lift it to that spot. With this we can state:

Since PE=KE

Analyis

2 which we can form a graph from

- Variables which could affect the height the mass was lifted could include inaccurate weights, bearings
warming up, causing less friction at the higher weights and, the number of rotations completed before lifting the
weight. The weight set I used was old and some of the hooks were bent out of shape. This could have accounted for
the weight to weigh less then it read, but this would lead to a very small error. As the experiment went on, the
bearings had gone through more revolutions. As bearings spin, the liquid lubricant inside them warm ed up. The
warmer this lubricant, the faster the bearings can spin because there is less friction. This is why soap box racers spin
their tires before races. This would allow the weight to be lifted higher off the ground, because the magnets will loose
less energy in making the axel turn. The final possible error I have mentioned is the fact that sometimes the motor
completed more revolutions then others. This is because I placed meter sticks to hold the string from moving up and
down the shaft. This caused the string to double up (or more) on itself. This increase in circumference when doubling
up caused there to be less slack after that turn. Less slack means less rotations, and the more doubling up that

occurs, the fewer rotations are completed before the weight is lifted. If there are fewer rotations, the motor will not get
up to full speed and inertia and therefore would not be able to lift the mass as far off the ground as it should.
Assuming my data is close enough to what should be the result, I conclude by analyzing my calculations and the
graph, that the relationship between the mass and torque or ^2 (angular velocity) is a linear relationship.