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Tensile Strength

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.

 

Puzzle ID:#8049
Fun:*** (2.71)
Difficulty:** (1.64)
Category:Science
Submitted By:Bobbrt*****
Corrected By:Jake

 

 

 



Which has a higher tensile strength? A 1" diameter, 6 foot long steel rod, or a 6 foot long steel cable made out of the same amount of steel as the rod? More importantly, why?

If you don't know what tensile strength is, click on "hint".



Answer

The cable will be stronger because as a material is made into smaller and smaller fibers, the chance for defects causing a major failure decreases. Think of it this way: cut 1/4 of the way through the rod, and do the same to the cable. With the cable, 3/4 of the wires will still be in perfect condition. The rod, however has a large crack in it now, and it is very easy to break something when there is already a crack started.
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