Need help for background research.

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Need help for background research.

Postby leoxtiger » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:03 pm

I am doing background research for my science fair project, but am not exactly sure for what articles or documents to research. My project is testing the strength of certain materials. I'm designing and constructing them to be the exact same structure, size, and weight to test their strength. I will be placing a tray and consistently pouring sand into it to test the strength. To record the weight and data, I'll be placing a scale underneath each structure to record the increasing weight. When it collapses or near collapses to record the final data. Any help with ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Project Question: I'm testing the strength of certain materials by designing and constructing them all to be the same shape and weight to see the difference in strength. I'll be placing a tray on top of each structure and consistently pouring sand and keeping record of the increasing weight by placing a scale underneath each structure. Once the structure is near or has collapsed, I will record the final data. Any help with the research behind this would be greatly appreciated.
Project Due Date: Past due.
Project Status: I am conducting my research

Re: Need help for background research.

Postby John Dreher » Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:04 pm

To get started, you will want to do some background reading on the topics of tensile strength and tensile strength testing. I myself usually start by looking things up on Wikipedia. I might then follow up some of the references cited in the Wikipedia article and/or do a more general web search using Google. For the general web search I might try to target my search a bit more carefully, for example in your case "tensile strength science fair" or "tensile strength tutorial" might be more effective than just "tensile strength". For specific science fair oriented reading, don't forget the SciBuddies search box in the upper right corner when you are browsing the forum. Typing "tensile strength" into the search box will yield access to many previous threads relevant to other students grappling with similar problems.

When you have firmed up your ideas and have more specific questions we'll be here to help. Good luck!
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Re: Need help for background research.

Postby DharmanKothari » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:48 am

In addition to what John said, I would like to add a caveat that certain materials have different strength under different conditions. The most famous example of this is a concrete block. It can handle a lot of force under compression but very little force under tension (i.e it is easier to break a concrete column by pulling it apart but a lot harder if you try to push it together). From what my understanding is of your experiment, you are currently testing the compressive strength of the material. Although you can modify this experiment easily if you want to find the tensile strength, if you decide just to go with compressive strength, just remember that you are finding the compressive strength of the material which may be very different from its tensile strength.

Hope this helps!
Dharman Kothari
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Re: Need help for background research.

Postby John Dreher » Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:28 pm

Dharman, thankfully, caught an error in my first post. I did not read your question carefully enough and thus confused it with one of our other active threads concerning tensile strength. You should substitute "compressive" wherever I wrote "tensile". Also, be aware that for compressive failure there are more than one mode of failure -- which you get will strongly depend on the composition and shape of the object under test. It may be difficult to compare failures between test objects that collapse by differing modes, e.g. bending and crushing. If your goal is to determine the intrinsic compressive strength, I would guess that the best shape to test would be a cylinder that has a diameter two or three times its height. This shape will minimize buckling and barreling modes of failure so that you measure the strength against uniaxial compression to the crushing point, where the material will separate into grains, splinters, shards, etc that have little cohesion and thus can move out of the way of the compression.
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Re: Need help for background research.

Postby AllisonGardner » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:57 am

I was also doing the research paper related to mass media. I found some trouble in finding the mass media research topics. After selecting the topic I realized that research paper writing needs lots of researching for getting the information related to the topic. Search and research well about the topic and get the relevant information to write in the paper.
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Re: Need help for background research.

Postby John Dreher » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:25 am

I am confused. Are you doing a science fair project concerning compressive strengths of materials, or are you writing a composition about mass media. for example newspapers. I see no relationship between these two tasks. Can you please claify?
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Re: Need help for background research.

Postby theborg » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:50 am

Allisongargner,

Welcome to science buddies. To help you get help from the appropriate expert, the science buddies topic threads are designedto pose questions and discuss a single project item. Looks like you have a similar question about starting research, but about a completely different topic/subject. I suggest you repost your question in a new thread with a different title. This will ensure it will show up initially in the unanswered posts where many experts monitor for incoming questions. Also, im not sure your project fits under the Physical Sciences forum.
I hope this helps.

theborg
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"As the circle of light increases, so does the circumference of darkness around it."
~ Albert Einstein
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