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Why are arch bridges stronger than beam ones?

  1. Apr 19, 2008 #1
    When building a pasta bridge, why are arches or triangular peaks able to support more weight than flat beam bridges? Assume the weight would be attached to the base/deck of the bridge.

    I'm building a pasta bridge for my Physics class and I was curious. Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 19, 2008 #2

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    Is pasta stonger in compression or tension?

    Also, is there more pasta in an arch/peak or a flat beam?
     
  4. Apr 19, 2008 #3
    I believe pasta would be stronger in tension, but weak in compression.
     
  5. Apr 19, 2008 #4

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    Oh, one more thing to think about: if you take a flat noodle (e.g. linguini) is it stronger with "edge" vertical or the "flat"?

    PS, I am not 100% sure about pasta, but most brittle materials are weak in tension and strong in compression
     
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