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Paper Bumper

  1. Dec 5, 2004 #1
    What type of bumper, made only of one sheet of paper and masking tape, would be most effective in a collision between a wooden block and a 1 kg cart? I have experiment with several designs including cylinders, spring-like compression bumpers and square pyramids, but none seem to work very well. The objective is to create a collision with the largest -t (delta t). Anybody have better ideas? Thanks for your help!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2004 #2

    BobG

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    Did you try crumpling the paper into a paper wad and then taping it to the bumper?

    Sounds like a joke, but try it and watch how the stress is spread out among the random folds. You definitely want a lattice type structure - designing one better than a paper wad will be a challenge.

    Just an interesting note about paper. Try and see how many times you can fold one piece of paper. I'll bet you you can't fold it more than seven times.

    Edit: By the way, it is possible to fold paper more than seven times - there's just very few people who know how to do it. Britney Gallivan, a high school junior, folded a piece of paper in half 12 times (and even published a 40-some page booklet on it, complete with the equations limiting the number of times a piece of paper can be folded).

    http://www.osb.net/Pomona/12times.htm
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2004
  4. Dec 7, 2004 #3

    BobG

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    The paper folding will probably give you more insight to how you want to design your bumper. By experimenting with different number of folds, you can vary the stiffness of the bumper (how strongly it resists taking another fold) and you should experimentally be able to find the desired stiffness.
     
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