The AEM can be used to assess how the quantitative interaction of forces affects the behaviour of a mechanism. This enables design decisions to be made, such as determining the strength of springs, the values of torques and the masses of parts that are necessary for a mechanism to function as required.
In this example, a ratchet wheel is driven by a torque that has an initial value of 50 Nmm. As the wheel rotates the spring extends and the force it exerts on the ratchet increases. At some point the torque is not sufficient to overcome the tension in the extending spring and the ratchet wheel comes to a stop. The torque magnitude is then interactively increased by the user, during the simulation, enabling the torque magnitude at which the wheel can fully rotate to be determined.
The torque magnitude is then restored to 50 Nmm and kept at this value. This time the value of the spring constant is reduced, once again enabling a value at which the wheel can fully rotate to be determined.