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Homework Help: Practical - Stress-Strain graph of an elastic band

  1. Nov 30, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data


    I have a practical to do soon, it's only a basic thing because we've only been doing physics for just over a month - plotting a stress-strain graph for an elastic band...

    2. The attempt at a solution

    Now, I was just going to measure the original length of the band & add weights each time measuring the extension so the Force being the independant variable and the extension being the independant one.

    Problem is, when it comes to working out the stress what do I use for the cross-sectional area? As it's stretching the cross-sectional area on a rubber band would probably change quite a lot, how do you deal with this? Or would you just mention that in the write up as a "source of error" and use the initial area before you started stretching it?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, this is my first practical so I'm not really sure what to do.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2008 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Here is a link that touches a bit on your concerns:

    Since you mention an elastic band, then I would say that you can determine observationally the change in width between extremes and model that as a linear change in cross-sectional area across the range of applied forces. If it exhibits only small change over the range then you can surely ignore it.
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