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a comparison of natural and synthetic fibres

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Introduction

A Comparison of the Strengths of Natural and Synthetic Fibres Hypothesis: I believe that synthetic fibres will be stronger than natural fibres. Plan: To investigate the strengths of synthetic and natural fibres we have used a clamp stand, 100g and 50g weights and a variety of different threads. All of the threads we used were the same colour (black) except nylon, which cannot be dyed. The threads we used were: viscose (synthetic) cotton (natural), quilting cotton (natural), silk (natural), nylon (synthetic), two types of polyester (synthetic), wool (natural) and polyester 40%/polyamide 60% (synthetic). The fibres were shared out for testing and then the results were pooled. I tested the first five fibres We measure the threads (15cm) and tied them to the clamp stand, tying each thread in three knots, and then attached the weights, again using three knots. We then carefully added the weights to see when the threads snapped. We tested each thread five times. Results: Weight (g) ...read more.

Middle

Some of the fibres, for example wool and the first polyester, had a strength that was much higher than the other fibres. They also seemed to have a wider range (if you are including the outlier). Most of the results for the threads are reliable. There are only three outliers but if they are discounted the results for viscose, nylon, the second polyester, polyester/polyamide, cotton, quilting cotton and silk all have very small ranges. This is especially true of viscose and polyester/polyamide. The data was collected safely and only minimal safety procedures, such as using a lab coat to cushion the fall of the weights, were needed. However, it was difficult to tie all of the knots in the same way and to ensure they were secure. An easier way of attaching the threads to the clamp stands would have helped to make the results more accurate. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is possible that the fibres were pulled and weakened or that more knots were tied in the fibres than in other tests for the same thread. There was not enough time to thoroughly investigate the strength of the thread. We were sometimes rushed and could have made mistakes because of our haste. We could also have tested the fibres more and tested a larger number of fibres if we had had more time to conduct the experiment. We did not check that the weights were all the exact weight that they were marked as being. This means that some of the weights could have been lighter or heavier than perceived and outliers may be due to this. The outliers could also be because of an actual difference in the strength of the fibre. The results for the first polyester, for example, are very varied but none of them are extremely far from the other results. This could be because the fibre's strength varied or portions of the fibre could have been weaker. ...read more.

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