Title and Abstract

Investigation of the effect of design on the load-to-mass ratio of popsicle stick bridges.
Zahin Rusyaidi, Chong Zheng Xuan, Tan Sze Ian
School of Science and Technology, Singapore

Our project is on the building of a bridge to get the best load to mass ratio of bridges. We decided to do this because we came across an article of a deadly bridge collapse in Johannesburg which killed 2 people and injured 21. Johannesburg, A. (2015, October 15) In this report we go through the reason bridges collapse. We also made 5 total bridges out of popsicle sticks and elmer’s all-purpose glue. We tested them using a load machine and improved the quality of the bridge according to the problems that we had. Through our results, we learnt that the shape of a triangle as the base of the bridge would make the bridge stronger than a semi-circle or a rectangle.

  Design 1 did not have a stable design, the base was several singular modules pasted together and was weak as a result. The sides were basically useless. We introduced an arch-style design in design 2 interlocking base which significantly increased the strength of the bridge. Design 3 had a bigger, curved arch, it was a little stronger. Design 4 was a close rehash of design 2, and was much stronger and lighter. Its improved structure managed to hold a weight stronger than design 2 and was much stronger in comparison to design 2 & 3. Design 5 was ultimately the strongest as the shape of the arch was a triangle and there was no middle segment which meant all the force was pressed onto one point.

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