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Power Transmission Distributors Association is...

the leading association for the power transmission/motion control industrial distribution channel, bringing together distributors and manufacturers.

Tech Tip: Fundamentals

Enhance your employees’ product and industry knowledge with PTDA’s Tech Tips. This library of online tips, hints and techniques may be used to educate new and current employees on power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) products, technologies and concepts and serve as reference and reminder for more experienced staff. Tech Tips are based on the expertise of PTDA member companies, content from Motion Control Made Simple or PTDA’s Power Transmission Handbook®, the definitive resource and training tool on PT/MC products.

Visit the full library  of Tech Tips for additional products.

What Is the Difference between Torque and Work?

TORQUE is the "tendency" of a body to rotate as a result of a force being applied at some distance (often called the lever arm) away from the center of rotation. There need not be rotation or motion to have torque present; simply the effort to turn is sufficient.

[Torque = Force x Radius (Lever Arm)].

WORK only occurs when a force moves an object through a measured distance. If the force acting on the object does not move the object… than no work takes place.

[Work (in-lbs, ft-lbs) = Force (lbs) x Distance (ft, in)].


The information provided in Tech Tips is not meant to be all-encompassing, but rather to draw attention to and provide information about the particular subjects covered. All suggestions and recommendations contained in Tech Tips are based upon information that is believed to be accurate to the best of the experience and knowledge of PTDA’s contributing members, but are made without guarantee or representation as to results. PTDA and Tech Tip contributors expressly disclaim any warranties or guaranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of any information published in Tech Tips, and disclaims and makes no warranty that the information in Tech Tips will fulfill any of your particular purposes or needs. PTDA and Tech Tip contributors disclaim liability for any personal injury, property, or other damages of any nature whatsoever, whether special, indirect, consequential, or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication, use of, application, or reliance on Tech Tips.