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Homework Help: Tension in Chain

  1. Mar 8, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    You have a new job designing rides for an amusement park. In one ride, the rider's chair is attached by a 9.0-m-long chain to the top of a tall rotating tower. The tower spins the chair and rider around at the rate of 1 rev every 4.0 s. In your design, you've assumed that the maximum possible combined weight of the chair and rider is 150 kg. You've found a great price for chain at the local discount store, but your supervisor wonders if the chain is strong enough. You contact the manufacturer and learn that the chain is rated to withstand a tension of 3000 N.

    Is the chain strong enough?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Find tension that is supported by the system, and compare it to the 3000N.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    How would you think to start to figure the Tension?

    What forces must the chain handle?
  4. Mar 8, 2009 #3
    I know that Fr=Tcos(theta)
    So the T=Fr/cos(theta)
    But I don't have an angle.
    I have a radius, and I have a mass, and I can find a velocity using the 1 revolution=4.0 seconds.
    I am not sure how to go about this.
  5. Mar 8, 2009 #4


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    You must write TWO equations to find the tension and the angle.
    Sum of the horizontal forces = mv^2/r
    Sum of the vertical forces = 0
  6. Mar 8, 2009 #5
    The place to start this problem is with a 3-D free body diagram. Also, you need to be very clear on your definitions of r, theta, omega, etc.
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