The Archimedes screw .

Essay by leigh_555Junior High, 9th grade May 2004

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The Archimedes screw is a simple mechanical device invented my Archimedes in the 3rd century. The device, often used to direct water into an irrigation channel, was composed of a wooden beam, several feet long, around which a spiral screw thread was built of layers of flexible, pitch-covered wood strips. Over this thread were fastened tight-fitting narrow planks running the length of the beam and giving it the appearance of a tube. By placing the lower end in water and revolving the screw, water is raised to the top. The principle is applied in machines used for drainage and irrigation, and also in some types of high-speed tools. It can also be applied for handling light, loose materials such as grain, sand, and ashes.


The simple machine in Arhimedes screw is a spiral screw thread. The principles to operate the screw, is to place it into the water angled, so that the underportions of the threads at the submerged end can cup and hold the water.

When the screw is rotated on its axis in the proper direction, the cupped water is lifted up along the underside of the beam on the moving threads until it reaches and can flow out of the tube's raised end. This simple machine makes work more convenient as it can be used in many ways to multiply force (decrease the effort needed to do the job). In the Archimedes screw because it is continuous in movement the effort required to transport the water is reduced.


Archimedes screw was first used by the Egyptians for irrigation and by the Romans for water supply systems, irrigation and drainage work. It also found work in the ore mines of Spain. When the Egyptians and Romans used Archimedes screw it was mostly...