Plasticine can be used to model cylinder beams. Image credit wordpress.com

### ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: Experiment: Investigating whether thick beams support more weight

Aim: To show that thicker beams can support more weight

Materials: Plasticine/Stikistuff, wooden board, small cardboard cylinders 2cm in length, tin, snad, scales/balance, knife

Method

Thicker/Wider cylinder beams carry more mass.

1. Roll cylindrical shapes of Plasticine between the wooden board and a table top with diameters of 1 cm, 2cm, 3 cm and 4 cm
2. Cut the cylinders so that they are all the same length about 3 cm
3. Place each Plasticine cylinder inside a cardboard cylinder on a bench and load the Plasticine cylinder by pouring sand into the tin
4. Find the mass of sand that just squashes each of the cylinder to a height of 2cm

Observation and results

• The 4 cm tube carries the most sand before it’s squashed followed by the 3 cm, 2 cm and 1 cm tubes

Conclusion

• The mass a cylindrical tube can hold can be increased by making it thicker
• Or increasing its diameter
• All things being equal

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page.