- Water bottle (or small soda bottle)
- 4 Pieces of string about 40 cm long (cotton is best, but you can judge the tensile strength of various fibers in another experiment)
- tie one end of 2 pieces of string around the neck of the bottle
- tie the other end of ONE of the strings onto something solid like a railing, so the bottle will hang down
- holding the other end of the other string in your hand. Pull slowly. Where will the string break?
- repeat steps one-three, but this time jerk the string quickly. Where does it break now?
Understanding Tensile Strength: Tensile strength refers to The amount of stretching strength a material has before breaking. For instance, if you have a waterski rope, and try to tow a house with it, it will break because the force/weight of the object exceeds the tensile strength of the rope. But if you tow a boat with a thick chain, then it will probably be ok, because a steal chain has a high tensile strength. But if you add in inertia and momentum, then it decreases the tensile strength of an object because of Newtons Second law "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction"" so as you pull left an equal force yanks the rope left. The faster you pull the greater the force/momentum, the smaller the tensile strength...get it?