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Impact Physics

  1. Aug 13, 2011 #1
    Good Afternoon, all...

    I am trying to locate software or explanation of what happens when a thrown object hits a stationary object. Specifically, how to determine what will happen when a professional pitching horseshoe hits the stake. I am trying to determine how the shape of the shoe and direction of arrival dictates what happens at impact. Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2011 #2


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    That's a pretty general question. Do you have anything specific that might make it easier?
  4. Aug 14, 2011 #3
    Well I doubt there is any software you can buy, not that there is not any. You could figure it out mathematically, how ever you would probably need 2 and 1/2 chalkboards to write it all out. Can I ask why you seek this information?
  5. Aug 14, 2011 #4
    Yes, I want to know how the shape of a horseshoe determines what happens when it hits the stake. I want to know how to determine what happens at first impact and how the shape affects the result. For instance, does the precise instance of impact dictate it's bounce off direction or will sliding along it's perimeter dictate it's direction? If I know the precise percentage of weight to the left and right of impact, does that simplify a formula for rotation? Short of producing a horseshoe and witnessing the results with slow motion video, can I predict beforehand what will happen? Thanks
  6. Aug 14, 2011 #5
    You could approximate what would happen to an accurate degree. You would need to know the mass distribution of the horseshoe and the friction coefficients between the shoe and the stake, but a computer simulation would be possible.
  7. Aug 14, 2011 #6
    Thank You...I should be able to determine the mass at any given point on the perimeter
    of the horseshoe since I design the shoe with software and monitor the cubic volume for each quadrant. I have no clue as to the friction coefficients. I would be working with a steel 1" stake and 2 pounds 8 ounces of ductile iron for the horseshoe. I also know the arrival speed at impact. How would I go about determing the friction coefficients? Each quadrant of the shoe weighs 10 ounces and the center of gravity is precisely halfway from top to bottom and side to side. Regards
  8. Aug 14, 2011 #7
    TS, going off of what you said in post#4, it sounds like the information that you are seeking is not really going to be attainable by some back-of-the-envelope hand calc. If you were to hire a professional (someone who does drop-test simulations, designs golf club heads, etc.) to do this for you, they would use ABAQUS Explicit, LS-DYNA, or similar, to predict the precise behavior of the horsehoe and the stake at any instance in time during or after such a collision. The materials involved here are simple (with the exception of the dirt..) and common, and the impact is not severe, so I'd expect such a prediction to match reality pretty much perfectly.
  9. Aug 14, 2011 #8
    Thank You, afreiden...appreciate your suggestions. I would be happy just to determine the result after the first collision. I design for elders, women and youth who pitch from 30 feet and are forced to flip the shoe as opposed to turning. The squareness of arrival tends to cause the shoe to bounceback off the stake. Professional tournaments are generally pitched in clay and once the shoe hits the clay it sticks. I am trying to determine the best choice for designing the inner perimeter to reduce the straight back bounceoff. I have several videos on YouTube that shows one design that works well, but, is difficult to throw based on it's shape.
    If you should happen to know any professional mentioned willing to work "pro bono" I'm interested. Thank You for your suggestions.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
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