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Medical Bone & Achilles Tendon strength?

  1. Jun 22, 2010 #1
    Sick of watching these documentaries that don't even remotely explain some things in detail. Like...

    How is bone almost as strong as steel? Some thin steel rods lying around my house are very hard to bend slightly, but my stainless steel scissors in the vice can take a mild hit from a flat side of an axe a few times before snapping, but its thin steel. How do they do this comparison? Same thickness of steel & bone?

    Also it said the Achilles Tendon can hold the weight of a truck up before snapping. Again it didn't even explain anything.

    just curious thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2010 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Please post mainstream scientific studies about this so we can comment. (you'll be amazed by how much you can learn by looking things up) I think you're missing something, like comparing the relative strength of spider silk to steel.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  4. Jun 25, 2010 #3
    This is all really a basic engineering consideration. Material strength is measured in a number of ways according to different parameters, such that you can end up with apparently nonsensical conclusions like "bone is as strong as steel". This may, in fact, only be true of it's tensile strength, or of its compression strength, and yes, they should explain that in the show, and they should also explain if they are comparing an equal weight of steel and bone or an equal volume, or what, if this show is geared toward the layman.

    If you are actually going around your house testing things you may enjoy learning more about materials science itself, which would teach you all the various ways materials are tested.
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