Oranges and drywall

  1. OK, PF, I have an argument to settle and I need some expert advice.
    A friend of mine claims that it is possible to throw an orange through a 1/2" sheet of drywall (gypsum board); several other friends refute his claim. I would like to do the math to prove/disprove the theory, but my line of work doesn't give me a lot of practice with the physics of such dynamic elements.

    Question to the forum: how would I go about setting up an equation solve for this problem.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Why don't you just give it a try?
  4. That's the next step. But if I find out how much force is necessary and it is more than a human arm can supply, then I will have to build a cannon of sorts to achieve what man cannot. :biggrin:
  5. berkeman

    Staff: Mentor

    1/2" drywall is not very strong. Especially if you freeze the orange first... :smile:
  6. AlephZero

    AlephZero 7,248
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    And don't forget that if a baseball pitcher or a cricket fast bowler did the experiment, the orange would hit the drywall traveling at more than 90 mph.
  7. Perhaps google for the impact properties of drywall. If you can't find them you will have to do the experiment.
  8. sophiecentaur

    sophiecentaur 14,727
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Don't try this at home, folks!
  9. Uh, this seems to be outside the conditions of the OP... ? I refer to the word "throw"...
  10. The question becomes one of whether the orange will fly apart from the acceleration or air turbulence before it gets enough momentum to break the drywall. talks about drywall strength.
    I'd have to learn more about the methods used for measurement of Effective Modulus of Rupture (MOR) per ASTM C 1396 to understand how to apply the numbers.

    Are you considering a freestanding 4x8 sheet? or one nailed to 17" studs?
  11. phyzguy

    phyzguy 2,500
    Science Advisor

    Only somewhat related, but I love this movie of a cannon firing a 2x4 through a brick wall.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
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