Amazing Archimedean screw !

The name itself gives us an idea that it is invented by Archimedes.
Now this man – Archimedes, was an Ancient Greek mathematician, engineer, inventor, physicist, & an astronomer(such a smartass). We are living in 21st century & still we are not able to think stuff like this on our own & this man did it in the 3rd century BC !!!!!

We already discussed one of his works – buoyancy & we saw how do ships float ?
So the Archimedean screw OR screw pump is just a simple machine consisting a cylinder & a helical surface on the inside part of cylinder. Basically, it was designed to work like a pump & it worked without any of our presently available motors which we use to run todays pumps. The screw was used mostly for draining water out of mines or other areas of low lying water.


Animation of the Archimedean screw. Let us assume that the ball is a water molecule.


Construction :-
The screw pump consists of a screw or a helical structure inside a hollow pipe. The screw is turned through a handle which is outside the cylinder. As the shaft turns, the bottom end scoops up a volume of water. The water then gets pushed out up by the rotating helicoid until it pours out from the top of the tube & done just so simple.

Applications OR Uses :-
Why it was made ? – the first purpose was to transfer the water from low lying region to other parts of
the city. Along with transferring water to irrigation ditches, the device was also used for draining land that was underneath the sea in the Netherlands and other places in the creation of polders.

A screw conveyor :-
It is an Archimedean screw contained in a tube & turned by a motor so as to deliver material from one end to other end. It is particularly used for transporting granular materials such as plastic granules used in injection molding and cereal grains.

Conveyer Screw

Conveyor Screw (source :-

 Screw turbine :-
If water is poured into the top of Archimedes’s screw, it forces the screw to rotate. The rotating shaft can then be used to drive an electric generator.

Worm gear :-


This is actually not an application of the Archimedean screw but yea it might be an inspiration to the one who designed & invented the worm-gear mechanism.It is awesome & I really love it. Remove the outer cylinder of the Archimedes’s screw, mesh a gear of proper tooth thickness with the screw & we are done. Here the screw thing is called worm. Now the reason I love it is because the worm will definitely drive the gear but the gear may or may not drive the worm depending on the design of worm.

(It’s like if you close your door/gate of your house with help of worm gear mechanism, only you would be able to open & close it from inside because only you would be able to rotate the worm. Don’t ever worry about burglars unless & until the gate/door is big enough & not made of wood ! 😛 )

All hail great polymath – ARCHIMEDES !


source & animations source :-


  1. Very interesting and applicable. A meat grinder…

  2. same method is used to feed cement in silos of batching plants in construction sites.

  3. Very interesting & use full.

  4. Very nice and interesting

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