How to Make an Archimedes’ Screw

What is an Archimedes’ screw

Archimedes’ screw is an ancient contraption to pump water up an altitude. The screw finds applications to this day. It consists of a cylindrical shaft around which, a helical surface is wound. The entire arrangement is kept inside a hollow tube. When the setup is kept inclined over a water surface, and the shaft turned, then the liquid rises through its turns and reaches the top of the tube.

Archimedes’ Screw

You can easily build a simple model. Try this out in your next Science Project and earn kudos from your peers.

Make an Archimedes’ screw

Things you will need

  • Five meters long PVC pipe
  • One meter long transparent plastic tube
  • A roll of plastic tape
  • Two bowls of around 500 ml volume
  • Water
  • A bottle of poster color or any food color (use any color other than white)

DIY instructions

  • Twist the plastic tube around the PVC pipe, such that the tube makes a helix. Use plastic tape to fasten the tube to the pipe, firmly.
Archimede’s Screw Design
  • Fill one of the bowls with water and place it on a table. Color the water by poster or food color.
  • Take the other bowl filled with plain water and put it atop a small pile of books on the table. Be careful to place it a little away from the first bowl.
  • Now, place one end of the tube and pipe combo immersed in the water of the lower bowl. The combination should lean against the upper bowl, having its other end opening above the water surface in the second bowl.
Making an Archimedes’ Screw
  • Now turn the upper end of the screw with your hand and make your observations.
  • You will find the water of the upper bowl getting colored after some time, implying, that your Archimedes’ screw was successful in lifting water up an elevation!

So, roll up your sleeves and embark on the journey to make your own setup. Add a personal touch by fixing a spray nozzle at the top end of the device. You will simply love to catch your device in water spraying mode!

Archimedes Screw Video:


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