Sheets of made of sponge rubber. Image credit rollsheetrubber.com

Sheets of made of sponge rubber. Image credit rollsheetrubber.com

ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: Experiment: To compare the shear and tensile strength of sponge rubber and soft wood

Aim: To compare the shear and tensile strength of sponge rubber and a softwood

Materials: wooden ice-cream sticks/match sticks, pieces of sponge rubber, force meter

Method

  1. Twist the piece of ice cream sticks(poplar wood)
  2. Twist the pieces of foam/sponge rubber
  3.  Attach the rubber on one end to the wall using bulldog clips and pull it using a force meter until it breaks
  4. Attach to the wall and pull the other end of  the wood with the same force

Observation and results

  • The wood snaps when it is twisted (subjected to shear force)
  • The sponge rubber remains intact when it is twisted (subjected to shear force)
  • The sponge rubber breaks in the middle when enough tensile/pulling force is applied
  • Wood does not break when the same tensile force is applied
  • It is very difficult to break wood by pulling and it

Conclusion

  • Wood is strong in tension and weak in shear
  • Sponge rubber is strong in shear and weak in tension

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page

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