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Investigating the Factors That Effect the Flex of a Cantilever.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Investigating the Factors That Effect the Flex of a Cantilever.

I have been asked to investigate how a chosen variable can affect flex of a cantilever.

While doing the investigation there are variables that I must consider :

∙        Weight – The greater the weight of the object, the greater the downwards force         will be, this force will pull the cantilever down, and cause the cantilever to bend         more or less, depending on the size of this downwards force (weight).

∙        Distance from Table – The further away the weight is from the table, the more it will bend.  This is because the downwards force is increased by the distance from the pivot.

∙        Thickness of Cantilever –  The thicker the cantilever the less the cantilever will bend.  This is because the fibres on the top of the cantilever are stretching less, and the fibres in the under surface of the cantilever are compressing less.

Relevant Scientific Theories

Hooker's Law

Hooke discovered that the extension of a spring is directly proportional to the

stretching force. Therefore, if you double the force this doubles the

extension, trebling the force trebles the extension and so on.

extension        stretching force

...read more.

Middle

See below for diagram of apparatus:

Safety

The ruler will be clamped to the table ledge, and the weight shall be selotaped to the ruler.

Fair Test

In order for my findings to be valid the experiment must be a fair one. I will use the same standard each time for judging the height above floor. I will make sure that the vertical ruler is perpendicular to the floor all the time while measurements are being taken. The weight used will always be 10 N and I shall use the same weight each time, to avoid any slight differences in weight . All of these precautions will make my final results more reliable and keep anomalies at a minimum so thus make the entire investigation more successful.

Here are the results that I obtained from my preliminary experiment:

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After doing the preliminary experiment I concluded that the variable that I was investigating was going to give me a good set of results, with clear differences between all figures.  So when doing the actual, final experiment I will use a greater range of distances from the table.

When recording the results I will note down the “Distance From Table (cm)

...read more.

Conclusion

In addition, I use the most accurate measuring equipment, there is a possibility that the weights were not the weight labelled and a more accurate means of measuring could have been used for the heights such as, a laser. However, I do believe that my results are reliable enough to make a valid conclusion as there were no anomalous results and they all stuck close to the lines on best fit on the graphs.  

Overall, I think this was a good experiment and the best that could have been done with the time and resources available. The results supported my predictions and they seem to be reliable results.

If I was to investigate the bend of a cantilever further, then I could investigate another variable.  E.g.

Weight – The greater the weight of the object, the greater the downwards force

will be, this force will pull the cantilever down, and cause the cantilever to bend

more or less, depending on the size of this downwards force (weight).

-        Or Even –

Thickness of Cantilever –  The thicker the cantilever the less the cantilever willbend.  This is because the fibres on the top of the cantilever are stretching less, andthe fibres in the under surface of the cantilever are compressing less.

...read more.

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