Structures & Forces

What are structures and where can we find them our society ?
How can we make effective structures ourselves in the classroom ?

These two questions should be easy to answer after following this study
section of the site…. So work through the tasks you are set in class-time and produce well researched and well presented homework - many links from this site will be of use to you in doing that.

Take a piece of A4 paper and place it flat across the gap between two blocks of wood or two books.  I don't think many people would expect the piece of paper to give much support for anything wanting to cross between the two blocks - In fact it won't even support itself across the gap and yet the material itself is strong enough to support a weight much heavier than the paper itself if it is made into a simple structure.

So from where could you get inspiration for ideas that might help in deciding what
structure to use to build an effective simple bridge from the paper sheet?

Experiment with these two structures.  Do either of them improve the rigidity of the structure that spans the gap between the books.  Which do  you think is the most effective ?

As another test try gluing a single piece of paper all the way round the folds or tubes
you have made so that you have a self-contained panel.  Are these even more rigid than the folds or tubes on their own?

Let's now look around for any materials that use this method of strengthening an otherwise  flat sheet. 

These frequently found roofing materials show how things are strengthened by
corrugating them. 
The waste bin uses the same idea too.

W. Richmond


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