ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: Experiment: Comparing the strength of cylindrical and square tube beams
Aim: To compare the strength of cylindrical and square tubes
Materials: thin cardboard, tin can, sand and glue.
- Make a cylindrical tube by rolling a piece of cardboard
- Stand the cardboard tube vertically and place an empty tin on top end of the tube
- Fill the tin with sand slowly until it starts to crumple
- Repeat using a square beam whose with is the same as the diameter of the tube
Results and Observations
- The cylindrical beam holds carries more sand
- Cylinder beams are stronger because they have fewer points of failure compared to square tube beams
- Cylindrical tube beams are to be favored when in compression e.g. as building columns
- This is because of their shape
- The cylinder’s circular cross section places the column’s material and its outer boundary are at a consistent distance from the center, so the column has no side that is weaker
- This making it less susceptible to buckling than tube beams or other beams.
To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page.