According to digopaul, a counterweight is a weight that is located in the opposite sector of another with the objective that both reach a balance. The idea of weight, for its part, alludes to the force of attraction that the planet Earth exerts on bodies.
A counterweight, therefore, can be said to be used to balance forces. Its use is frequent when there is a significant displacement of masses, as in cranes and elevators (elevators).
In the case of cranes, the counterweight is exercised with concrete blocks (concrete). This makes it possible to compensate for the force exerted by the arm when lifting the load. The elevators, on the other hand, have counterweights that are fixed to the cabin through rollers. The motor is responsible for mobilizing the difference between the elevator load and the counterweight.
What a counterweight does is achieve compensation for the force that is expected to occur. In this way it ensures stability because the opposing forces, due to the action of gravity, end up neutralizing each other.
If we put it in simpler words, we can quickly understand the operation of an elevator and the reason why manufacturers must always indicate the maximum load weight, both in the case of those that transport people and those that are used. for objects. If we place a 10-kilogram box at one end and intend to lift it, we know that the counterweight must be greater than that value, since otherwise it would simply cancel the downward force exerted by the box.
Elevators need a counterweight for load movement to be possible, and the fluidity of operation largely depends on its characteristics. The design contemplates a series of rails along which it must circulate, which are the same as those of the cabin although they are in the opposite direction.
In the case of electric lifts, the most used today, the counterweight is one of the fundamental elements, and must be combined with a series of electrical, electronic and mechanical parts to ensure that the car moves vertically, in any direction. of the two senses. A failure in any of these parts can be fatal, which is why frequent maintenance is necessary. As an interesting fact, the speed of elevators can range from a fraction of a meter per second to several hundred meters per second, depending on their technology and applications.
The concept of counterweight can also be used symbolically to name that which promotes a moderation of something that is preponderant or excessive. For example: “The deputies of the Liberal Party affirmed that they will be the counterweight to the ruling party in Congress”, “Dictators tend to dismantle institutions since they do not want any counterweight”, “Independent journalism is the natural counterweight to the abuse of power”.
If we stay with this last example, we can visualize the destructive action that the abuse of power has in society, since it blocks all channels of free expression to ensure that the victims submit to it without any hope; when a free movement like independent journalism arrives, it is like the sun rising after a long and devastating storm, as it begins to illuminate everything that the great monsters wish to keep under a veil of darkness.
Suppose that, in a Chamber of Deputies, 65% of the legislators belong to the ruling party. The remaining 35%, in this framework, acts as a counterweight: it is in charge of guaranteeing the debate and of presenting the objections that it believes necessary to prevent all the government projects from being directly approved.