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Impact force (distance & time after impact unknown)

  1. Jul 22, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A vehicle falls 20 mm back onto a smooth steel track after going over a bump. It has polyurethane wheels. Young's modulus is known for both wheels and track materials. What is the force exerted by the vehicle onto the track as it lands?

    2. Relevant equations

    F = mdv/dt

    KE = (ma^2)/2

    F = KE/d

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I've looked long and hard for a solution to this but all I found were equations (such as the ones above) that require either a pre-known time value for the collision or a pre-known value for distance travelled after impact.

    How can an impact force be calculated simply by knowing material properties, mass of falling object, and distance of fall?

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2012 #2
    I'm not familiar with Youngs Modulus but since you haven't had an answer...

    Presumably the youngs modulus can be used to work out an equivalent spring constant for the combined wheel/track. You know the energy compressing it so you can work out the distance it's compressed???
  4. Jul 26, 2012 #3
    Thanks. I've since found a couple of equations for impact stress and deflection, based on strain energy.
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