Design and Technology
My Own Personal Yellow Brick Road
Categories: Structures

First things first, how much weight can a single strand of spaghetti take?

To make sure that all my tests are fair I’ll be adding the weight in small increments and waiting 10 seconds between each to make sure that it is actually taking the weight. I’ll also be performing each test 5 times to try and rule out any erroneous results.

Test 1: how much weight can a strand of spaghetti take over a distance of 180mm?

Test No. 1 2 3 4 5
Weight g 20 20 30 30 30

Spaghetti is really flexible!! It dipped down 30mm from horizontal before it gave way on average after 26g

So what would happen if I halved the distance? Would the spaghetti take twice the weight?


Test No. 1 2 3 4 5
Weight g 70 70 60 70 60

Turns out it’s more than twice as strong, the spaghetti strands to an average of 66g before breaking so about 2.5 times stronger.

Next I’m going to try groups of 5 strands, are they as strong as 5 individual strands or stronger?

Test No. 1 2 3 4 5
Weight g 110 110 120 120 130

Ok so 5 individual strand would take approximately 130g, the results above show that 5 strands together are, in fact, a bit weaker at an average of 118g.

 Now to up it to 10 strands.

Test No. 1 2 3 4 5
Weight g 230 220 230 210 220

10 individual strands would take 260g so… again they work out a weaker than the sum of its parts at an average of 222g.

Now to see how they behave when the glue is added into the mix. As I’m going to be creating my structure from bundles of spaghetti glued together I want to see if gluing the bundles I have already tested effects the amount of weight they can support.

Test No. 1 2 3 4 5
Weight g 110 130 130 130 130

5 strands glued are, on average, 1.07 times stronger than the previous bundles of 5.

Test No. 1 2 3 4 5
Weight g 240 240 250 250 270

10 strands glued are, on average, 1.13 times stronger than the previous bundles of 10.

Interesting, I wonder If I can use this to try and predict how much weight my final bridge will take…

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