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Physics rollercoaster track engineering

  1. Jan 2, 2008 #1
    Hi,

    I've posteed about this rollercoaster already, so some of you may or may not recognize the whole idea but basically I have to construct a miniature rollercoaster for a ball bearing to run through. Now, my question here is much much differnt. I'm not looking for ideas or design tips, but rather, structural integrity input.

    I'm using 1 inch (the hole in the center) clear plastic tubing that has wire lining the walls inside of a thick rubber wall, so as a full tube, the stuff is VERY strong, not SUPER easy to bend, but it will still bend without kinking. My question is this: If I were to half (or even quarter) the tubing in order to see at least half of the bearing above the walls of the "rollercoaster" track/tubing, would this tubing become extrmely flimsy t the point that I cannot use it? The thing is, I only have 70 feet of it in total so i don't want to risk wasting any of it, and plus, it's expensive stuff.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2008 #2

    FredGarvin

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    Science Advisor

    It won't be flimsy, but what will probably happen is that the walls will not keep a nice semi circular shape like you would want. There will not be anything to hold the circular cross section shape when you bend it in any other direction. You can prove this by using a small piece and trying it. It would probably be OK for a straight section if you have one.
     
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