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Investigating a Cantilever.

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Investigating a Cantilever Research A cantilever is a beam fixed at one end only. They are often used in every day life in structures such as cranes, diving boards and football stadiums. Factors that effect the deflection of a cantilever are mass, length and load. 3 forces affect a cantilever's deflection; these are gravitational forces acting upon the mass and load of a cantilever a compressional force acting on the underside of the cantilever and a tensional force on the upper side of the cantilever. If the cantilever deflects too much it will break. This is either because it is too long or too much weight is acting upon it. Tensional Force Compressional + Tensional Force Compressional Force Weight (Mass x Gravitational Force) I'm going to investigate how changing the load will effect the deflection of the cantilever. Preliminary Test The Preliminary test was taken to find the optimum length of the cantilever for our investigation, a compromise between a very large and very small deflection, one that was measurable and easy to take readings off of. ...read more.


I will take readings at 5 different masses 3 times per mass and work an average from the 3. This ensures that the final measurement is accurate. The readings will be taken at 100g, 200g, 300g, 400g, and 500g. We will make the test a fair test by making sure that the aspects of the test are non-variable such as the length of the cantilever and the we use the mirror every time to read the measurement. Prediction I think that as the mass of the load increases the deflection of the cantilever will increase proportionally. I think that this will happen because as the compressional and tensional forces (which support the weight of the cantilevers load) increase the cantilever deflects. Length (cm) Mass (g) Start Height (mm) Finish Height (mm) Deflection (mm) Average (mm) (1dp) 50 100 1. 850 2. 850 3. 850 1. 845 2. 844 3. 844 1. 5 2. 6 3. 6 5.6 50 200 1. 850 2. 850 3. 850 1. 839 2. 837 3. 837 1. ...read more.


The odd results came from things such as a member of our group knocking the pin as they took the load on and off or the steadiness off my hand. To prevent this from happening we could have attached the pin to the cantilever more efficiently, it could have been tied on with string. Also a different member of the group could have taken the results, a member with a steadier hand. Ways that you could improve the experiment are you could tie the pin on with string to avoid knocking it. You could also, with a clamp and a stand make sure that the ruler was always at a 90� to the floor and that it was always in exactly the same place. You could make the results more accurate by taking 5 readings instead of 3 per weight and take an average from that. I would extend the experiment by changing the material of the cantilever to plastic, metal or a different type of wood. I would also try taking readings at 10g intervals instead of 100g. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This is a well written report on an investigation.
1. The background section is very concise and well researched.
2. The preliminary results is relevant to set up the investigation.
3. The method and results are well structured.
4. The analysis section is well written but brief.
5. The evaluation contains good suggestions but the language used is not as concise as previously.
**** (4 stars)

Marked by teacher Luke Smithen 22/05/2013

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