Equivalent weight that balances a mechanical system / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A counterweight is a weight that, by applying an opposite force, provides balance and stability of a mechanical system.[1] The purpose of a counterweight is to make lifting the load faster and more efficient, which saves energy and causes less wear and tear on the lifting machine.[2]

A simple crane

Counterweights are often used in traction lifts (elevators), cranes and funfair rides. In these applications, the expected load multiplied by the distance that load will be spaced from the central support (called the "tipping point") must be equal to the counterweight's mass times its distance from the tipping point in order to prevent over-balancing either side. This distance times mass is called the load moment.[3]

By extension, a counterbalance force balances or offsets another force, as when two objects of equal weight, power, or influence are acting in opposition to each other.