Resource 3: Everyday examples of pressure
Teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils
Everyday examples of pressure
Following are some real-life examples of pressure in action:
- If you are carrying a heavy bag, narrow handles or straps cut into your hands and shoulders, but broad handles and straps are more comfortable.
- Narrow heels on shoes sink in further than wide, flat heels.
- Spreading your weight over a larger area stops you sinking in.
- Heavy vehicles that are used on softer ground need to have bigger, wider tyres.
- A sharp knife has a narrower blade edge than a blunt one, and is easier to cut with.
- Nails and tacks have a flat hammering head plus a sharp point to make it easier to hammer into wood, but also puncture tyres.
- Large machines for digging, grabbing or lifting use hydraulic pressure systems.
Below are some everyday items that rely on pressure to work:
- suction pads
- sucking a drink up with a straw
- bicycle pumps
- water pumps
- hydraulic jacks for lifting cars
- pneumatic controls
- vacuum cleaners.