Balsawood Structure Design

2416 words - 10 pages

Intro Sample...

. Introduction:

This report is the first stage of the design, construction and testing
of a balsa wood structure. In April, the design will be tested against
classmates? designs, where the design with the highest load/weight ratio
wins. The information gained from this report will be used in the
construction of the structure. The report is composed of two sections.
The first is an evaluation of material properties of balsa, glues and
different joint configurations. The second section consists of a
discussion on a preliminary design that is based on conclusions drawn
from the testing section.
Common material tests of tension, compression and bending were
performed and... View More »

Body Sample...

Testing the materials for their "best direction" characteristics
can produce results that are not representative of real behavior. To
expect uniform stress distributions and to predict the exact locations
of stresses prior to testing prototypes is generally not a good idea.
However the values obtained from these tests can give a general idea of
where the structure may fail, and will display basic properties of the

Tension Test

In tension testing, it is important to have samples shaped like the one
in Figure 1, or the material may break at the ends where the clamps are
applied to the material. Failure was defined to occur when the specimen
broke in the center area, and not near the clamps. The machine records
the maximum load applied to the specimen and the cross sectional area
was taken of the central area prior to testing. These two values are
used to compute the maximum stress the material can withstand before

Figure 1: Sample Torsion Specimen

In general, the material failed at the spaces with the smallest
cross-sectional areas, where imprecisions in cutting took place or the
material was simply weaker. It took many tests to get breaks that
occurred in the center section instead of at the ends, perhaps with an
even smaller center section this would have been easier. It should also
be noted that two different batches of balsa were tested and there was a
notable discrepancy between the results.

Table 1: Tension Tests Results
Specimen # Strength (psi)
1 ...

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