Understanding Pressure…

Someone was reading one of my archived blog entries and asked me this follow-up question…

Could you please define pressure in a way that I can explain it easily to my technicians?

My Response
Pressure is a measurement of force spread out over an area.
Pressure = Force / Area
This means, if you apply the same force on a smaller area, you get more pressure.
Additional Thoughts
An easy way to demonstrate this by holding up a piece of paper.
First, ask the employee to push on the paper with the palm of their hand. Explain that they can apply a lot of force without the paper breaking. This is because the force they apply is distributed over the area of their palm.
Second, ask the employee to push on the same piece of paper with a pen or pencil with the same amount of force. Explain that the paper breaks because the force is applied over a much smaller area resulting in a much higher pressure.

Leave a Comment