Reciprocating Motion

Definition - What does Reciprocating Motion mean?

Reciprocating Motion is the repetitive back and forth, or up and down linear motion. It is found in mechanisms including reciprocating pumps and engines. Two motions that are opposite and contain a reciprocation cycle are known as strokes. To convert a circular motion into a reciprocating motion, a crank is used. It is close but different from the sinusoidal simple harmonic motion. On the camshaft, points connect to the connecting rod and rotate smoothly with constant velocity in a circular motion. Hence, the horizontal displacement of the points is sinusoidal.

Petropedia explains Reciprocating Motion

The Reciprocating Motion is also called reciprocation and it has a mechanism in which a straight line motion remains at constant speed all through the full length of a throw. For instance, inside a reciprocating engine, the expansion of the burning fuel in cylinders repeatedly pushes a piston down that turns crankshaft through the connecting rod. The repeated rotation of crankshaft drives the piston back and makes it ready for the next rotation. The piston drives in a reciprocating motion that is transformed into a circular motion of the crankshaft. This circular motion finally propels the engine or performs other useful works.

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