Need suggestions for project

Louis

Hi everyone,

Its great to see that there is actually a place where students are able to get solutions for their many physics and mathematices problems. I have come today to ask for your assistance as well.

I was given a project by my Gr.11 physics teacher. The objective of this project is to create a barge (flat boat) that is as light as possible, yet can hold the most amount of mass given. The group who has the best ratio (weight of mass: weight of boat) will get top marks.

With this, I am wondering what type of materials would be the best to use as the fuselage of the boat. One that is light but is strong enought to support a given mass.

Louis

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enigma

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Balsa wood.

It's cheap, it's light, it's strong, it floats.

Louis

Thanks. But wouldnt there eventually be water accumulating inside the wood, making it soggy almost? I was also considering styrofoam. Any more suggestions would be of wonderful help. Thanks again!

enigma

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
How long does it need to stay in the water, and how long between trials?

Strofoam would be a good idea, but I'd think it's a little harder to get into the right shape.

NateTG

Homework Helper
Approximately what size will it be, and where are you testing it?

Louis

On the due date, it will be only one trial that should take approx. 3-4 minutes. The boat will be tested in a tub of water about 75 x 50 x 40 cm. Therefore the boat has to be made within those dimensions.

My teacher has specified that the boat will continue to be added weight to until the boat starts to leak, or if it sinks because of the weight. The weight will be bolts. They will be added in increments of 10-20 bolts per round.

I am also concerned about the stability of the boat as the weight is added to the boat. Therefore I was thinking of making the base wider than the top, or place weights underneath the boat to add stability.

Thanks a lot for your help!

NateTG

Homework Helper
The amount of load that your boat can take is equal to the weight of the water it displaces, minus the weight of the boat, so you want something as light as possible that displaces as much as possible.

Since your tub is 75x50x40, an optimal boat will be just a little bit smaller than that. That way you can displace all of the water.

A really simple solution is to track down the largest waterproof flat-bottomed tub that you can find that will fit into the testing pool. You could also assemble one out of plexiglass, but you'll need to make sure that your seals and joints will be able to handle the pressure. If you've got a swimming pool available, you can also try a cardboard box or laundry basket inside a plastic bag -It might work.

Similarly, if you decide to go with a boat built out of styrofoam, two-component insulation, or some other floatation material, the ideal dimensions will be 'just smaller than the testing tub'.

If the boat you build has a large flat bottom, or is just smaller than the testing tub, it will be very unlikely to tip. The "tub" design has the added advantage that any bolts placed in the tub will act as ballast to stabilize it.

enigma

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
You could always attach a keel to the bottom, if you need to.

Craz3

Louis you realize your teacher will kill u this is playjurism

louis whos ur partner? justin or mich

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