# Homework Help: How to estimate tangential force through curve?

1. Jul 26, 2012

### Aerstz

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

A capsule suspended on flat rails enters a curve in a pipeline. It has guide wheels on vertical axles to keep the main wheels on-track. As it enters the bend the front guide wheel impacts the side of a rail to steer the bogie. What is the force of this impact? Essentially, what force is required to change the direction of a moving body by x degrees (Newton basics)?

2. Relevant equations

Tangential acceleration = dv/dt

Centripetal acceleration = m*v^2/r

F = ma

3. The attempt at a solution

Is the centripetal force the only relevant component? If so I can calculate this. If it is the sum of centripetal and tangential then I am stuck, for I do not know how to estimate the tangential load (I do not know what the change in velocity will be over time). I know the capsule forward velocity, mass, and the radius of curvature (for the curve it is to traverse).

Thanks for any help. I know this is very basic physics, and confess I should know the answer!

2. Jul 26, 2012

### chutes123

The force would be equal to the centripetal acceleration*mass. If you are given the radius of curvature, then use the equation for centripetal acceleration*mass.

F = mv^2/R

3. Jul 26, 2012

### Aerstz

Thanks. I was resigned to just using the centripetal formula despite reading elsewhere that there are two force components: tangential and centripetal.