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Brian Shealy

The purpose of this project is to determine which laminated beam is the strongest. The hypothesis of this project is Beam A will be the strongest, followed by Beam C, Beam B, Beam D, Beam E, Beam G, and Beam F.

First, designs for each five-layer laminated beam were drawn on paper. Next, the designs were drawn on each layer of the beam. Next, each layer was cut on a scroll saw. Then a finger-joists were cut at each break in each layer of the beam. Then, each layer of the beam was glued together with wood glue. Duck tape was used to clamp each layer together while each layer dried. After each layer dried, the layers were glued together to form each beam. C-Clamps and Quick Grips were used to clamp the layers together. Next, the seven beams were given a destruction test. Each beam's destruction test was determined on a machine using a lever and mechanical advantage. The beam was placed on the machine so that one inch on each end was on the platform. A piece of wood measuring ten inches in length was placed on top of the beam to disperse the pressure exerted by the rod evenly. The rod was connected to a lever that extended out from the platform. On this lever, holes were drilled so a bucket could hang from them. Sand was shoveled into this bucket with a cup. When the beam broke, the bucket was weighed in pounds. This weight was multiplied by the mechanical advantage to give the total amount of weight resisted by the beam. The mechanical advantage was figured by measuring how far the pivot is from the rod (X). Then the distance from the pivot point to the hole from where the bucket was hanging was measured (Y). Then the distance from the pivot to the bucket was divided by the distance from the pivot to the rod (Y/X). Then each test was recorded in the log book.

The conclusion of this project differs slightly from my hypothesis. The strongest beam, which resisted 149 kilograms, was Beam A. This beam was predicted to be the strongest beam. The second strongest beam resisted 136 kilograms. This beam, Beam D, was predicted to be the fourth strongest beam. Beam G was the third strongest beam holding 125 kilograms. This beam was predicted to be the sixth strongest beam. Beam B, which held 96 kilograms, was the fourth strongest beam. It was predicted to be the third strongest beam. The fifth strongest beam held 93 kilograms. This beam, Beam E, was predicted to be the fifth strongest beam. The sixth strongest beam, Beam C, was predicted to be the second strongest beam. This beam resisted 90 kilograms. The seventh strongest or weakest beam, Beam F, held 83 kilograms. This beam was predicted to be the weakest beam.

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