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Basic shape of the wedge

A wedge is a body in which two side surfaces meet at an acute angle .

Wedges are used as tools for splitting and for power transmission, using the mechanical principle of the inclined plane . The force acting in the direction of the wedge tip or the “cutting edge” is then broken down into a partial force acting at right angles to it, in addition to the forward force . Depending on the angle of the wedge, this normal force causes the loads acting on the wedge to persist or move via friction .

The effect of cutting tools such as hatchets and knives and connecting elements such as nails and screws is also based on the principle of the wedge.

The wedge made of wood, stone or metal is one of the earliest inventions of mankind. The effectiveness of the wedge is limited by the friction generated during use and its strength . A wedge does not always have to be made of hard material to be effective. With aquaplaning (slippery water), the wedge effect of the water can be significant if the car tire is moving at a certain speed on the road .

In nature, the principle of the wedge found inter alia in particular beak shape of some birds  -. For example, at Specht , spoonbills or "iron wedge" ( Kingfisher ).

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