Ratchets           Isaac Gendler


     “How can we have a rotary gear moves in only one direction?”

The answer to your question lies in a most peculiar device known as a ratchet. Contrary to popular belief, ratchets can be quite intelligent. Ratchets are very fundamental machines that can limit machine rotation to one direction. Rotors are composed of three parts. A gear whose teeth have been molded to fold out in only one direction. A Pawl that makes contact with the gear and stops the rotation when it goes in the incorrect direction. Finally, a mount serves as the platform connecting everything. The way that the Pawl halts the movement is as follows. Because the gears have been molded the “leading” side of the teeth is merged in to a curve with the top, and the “following” side is vertical. When the gear moves in the correct direction, the pawl will simply slide over the surface,while when the gear moves in the wrong direction, it will slam into the vertical surface, causing a stoppage. Ratchet mechanisms can be used in screwdriver items to ensure that rotation only happens in one direction. 

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