capstan

/kap"steuhn, -stan/, n.
1. any of various windlasses, rotated in a horizontal plane by hand or machinery, for winding in ropes, cables, etc.
2. a rotating spindle or shaft, powered by an electric motor, that transports magnetic tape past the heads of a tape recorder at a constant speed.
[1350-1400; ME < MF cabestan(t) < OPr cabestan, var. of cabestran, presumably prp. of *cabest(r)ar, a v. deriv. of cabestre halter < L capistrum]

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Mechanical device used chiefly on board ships or in shipyards for moving heavy weights by means of ropes, cables, or chains.

A capstan consists of a drum, driven either manually or by steam or electricity, that rotates about a vertical axis to wind in a line wrapped around it. The grip between the line and the drum depends on friction and on the number of times the line is wrapped around the drum. A notched track (ratchet) on the base plate and pawls attached to the drum prevent backward rotation.

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▪ mechanical device
      mechanical device used chiefly on board ships or in shipyards for moving heavy weights by means of ropes, cables, or chains. Capstans also have been used in railroad yards for spotting (positioning) freight cars. A capstan consists of a drum, driven either manually or by steam or electricity, that rotates about a vertical axis to wind in a line (rope, cable, or chain) that has been wrapped around it (see illustration). The grip between the line and the drum depends on friction and on the number of times the line is wrapped around the drum. Speed of drawing in the load can be controlled by allowing partial slippage of the line around the capstan. A notched track (ratchet) on the base plate and pawls attached to the drum prevent backward rotation.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Capstan — Cap stan, n. [F. cabestan, fr. Sp. cabestrante, cabrestante, fr. cabestrar to bind with a halter, fr. cabestrohalter, fr. L. capistrum halter, fr. capere to hold (see {Capacious}); or perh. the Spanish is fr. L. caper goat + stans, p. pr. of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Capstan — may refer to:*Capstan (nautical), rotating machine used to control or apply force to another element. *Capstan (tape recorder), rotating spindles used to move recording tape. *Capstan (cigarette), a brand of British cigarette.ee also*Rack and… …   Wikipedia

  • Capstan —   [ kæpstən, englisch] der, s/ s, die Antriebswelle von Tonbandgeräten und Videorecordern, bewirkt den direkten Transport und bestimmt die Geschwindigkeit des Bandes, das durch eine Gummirolle (»pitch roller«) an den Capstan gedrückt wird …   Universal-Lexikon

  • capstan — late 14c., from O.Fr. cabestant, from O.Prov. cabestan, from capestre pulley cord, from L. capistrum halter, from capere to hold, take (see CAPABLE (Cf. capable)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • capstan — ► NOUN ▪ a broad revolving cylinder with a vertical axis, used for winding a rope or cable. ORIGIN Provençal cabestan, from Latin capere seize …   English terms dictionary

  • capstan — [kap′stən] n. [ME < OProv cabestan < ? L capistrum, halter, muzzle < capere, to take: see HAVE] 1. an apparatus, mainly on ships, around which cables or hawsers are wound for hoisting anchors, lifting weights, etc.: it consists of an… …   English World dictionary

  • Capstan — Cassettenfach mit Capstan, Andruckrolle, Ton und Löschkopf Ein Capstan (englisch für Spill), auch Tonwelle, ist eine rotierende Welle, die in Kombination mit einer Andruckrolle dazu dient, das Band in einem Bandgerät (Tonbandgerät,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • capstan — UK [ˈkæpstən] / US noun [countable] Word forms capstan : singular capstan plural capstans a round piece of equipment that you turn to wind a heavy rope, especially on a ship or at a port …   English dictionary

  • capstan — noun a) A vertical cleated drum or cylinder, revolving on an upright spindle, and surmounted by a drumhead with sockets for bars or levers. It is much used, especially on shipboard, for moving or raising heavy weights or exerting great power by… …   Wiktionary

  • Capstan — Caps|tan [ kæpstən] der; s, s <aus gleichbed. engl. capstan, dies aus fr. cabestan »(Schiffs)winde«, zu lat. capistrare »anbinden«> Antriebswelle von Tonbandgeräten u. Videorekordern …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

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