Engines & Equipment
Engines and construction equipment are all complex machines. How do some of these engines work, and how do they help us construct buildings and structures?
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Diesel locomotives are some of the coolest modes of transport out there. Giant machines like these are just full of technological treats. Explore a hybrid-diesel locomotive — from engine to engineer controls.
By Karim Nice & Talon Homer
You've waited in line, and now it's time to board the roller coaster for the thrill ride of your life. If you're lucky enough to get to pick your seat, which car should you choose for the best ride experience?
You see backhoe-loaders on nearly every construction site around town. Learn how these amazing machines work and what they are able to do.
By Marshall Brain & Tom Harris
You see gears in just about anything that has spinning parts — car engines, transmissions, electric toothbrushes... Learn what these gears are doing and get to the bottom of the "gear ratio" concept!
If a device has a motor, engine or spring, it probably has gears! But what do gears do, exactly, and how do they do it?
By Karim Nice & Kristen Hall-Geisler
Ball bearings can be found in a wide variety of machines and gadgets. If you take a look at one of them you may notice how perfectly smooth they feel and appear. How do they get like that? Find out how ball bearings are created in this article.
Right around the fall months you may have heard the phrase 'punkin chunkin.' Have you ever wondered what exactly that is, or how the machines that launch pumpkins work?
Bearings are the invisible heroes inside many mechanical devices. Learn about all different kinds of bearings, including 5-foot ball bearings that keep buildings on solid footing.
By Karim Nice
Not so long ago, the world's naval forces worked entirely above water. But all that changed with the addition of the submarine to the standard naval arsenal.
Since a torpedo cannot have an air-breathing engine like a boat, how is it propelled through the water?
It doesn't seem like twisted rope and wooden gears or levers would be able to produce the force and speed needed to launch heavy loads a great distance.
Water-cooled air conditioners work in a different way than standard air conditioners that chill the air with a compressor. If water-cooler air conditioners don't use a compressor, then how do they cool the air? Find out the answer in this article.
Thomas the Tank Engine is a merchandising phenomenon that includes small wooden train sets, video tapes, books, clothing, an official Web site and tons of fan sites. But wait, what exactly is a "tank engine" anyway?
How do the engines breathe in diesel submarines? Don't internal combustion engines need a lot of oxygen to run? Where would all of this oxygen come from when the sub is underwater?
There is a force that causes a 3-pole motor to spin in one direction and not the other. What exactly is this force and how does it prevent the motor from spinning in another direction. Find out the answer to this question in this article from HowStuffWorks.
When I was a kid, my Aunt had constantly flowing water from a natural spring down the hill. She said the water was pumped uphill using a hydraulic ram. This device ran constantly and didn't need any electricity! What is a hydraulic ram and how does i
How are people able to breathe inside a submarine? What do they do to keep the air breathable?
Tower cranes rise 150 feet in the air and lift up to 19 tons. Plus, they actually build themselves! They're simply amazing. Learn how these structures accomplish such feats.
A car engine uses a four-stroke cycle -- how can two strokes accomplish the same tasks? Learn all about the two-stroke engine, where it's used and how it compares to a four-stroke.
Were these things invented to make your hair stand on end? Find out how Van de Graaff generators create static electricity and why they were invented in the first place.
By John Zavisa
Steam engines powered all early locomotives, steam boats and factories -- they fueled the Industrial Revolution. Learn how the steam engine produces power!
Ever gaze in wonder at the huge cranes, bulldozers, backhoes, loaders, shovels and fork lifts on a construction site? Find out all about hydraulic machines, from backyard log splitters to big construction equipment.
Tractor pulls are popular displays of raw horsepower.The trucks used in these competitions use engines that are capable of producing thousands of horsepower.
A fascinating article that describes how a block and tackle (as well as levers and gears) works!