HST31 Suspension Cable

The purpose of the experiment is to compare the simplified theory of a suspension cable with the results measured using a chain of uniform weight per unit length. 

The main variables are the shape of the hanging cable, particularly the maximum sag, and the weight per unit length.  Measurements are to be made of the tension at each end of the cable and the curvature of the chain.  The effect of a point load is also studied.

A horizontal base beam has a fixed pulley at one end and a vertically adjustable pulley at the other end of a 1 m span.

A length of roller chain is used as the suspension cable, which is tensioned by two spring balances that can be adjusted to keep the chain length constant. A height gauge on the base beam is provided to measure the x.y co-ordinates of the lay of the chain.

A large number of small suspension weights are used to hang on the chain rollers to vary the uniform weight per unit length, or alternatively to hang in a cluster to form a point load. Each suspension weight weighs approximately 1N each. Each suspension weight has a hook at each end which allows it to be attached to the chain and allows other weights to be linked in series on the chain, thus changing the self weight of the chain. Varying point loads can be achieved by created a series of linked weights at a single point on the chain.

The apparatus is assembled within the HST1 Universal Frame and Stand (sold separately).

A comprehensive instruction manual for student and lecturer is provided along with all the necessary fixing tools, accessories and a 2 year warranty.

To compliment the HST31 hardware, the HST31S experimental software is available giving the student an opportunity to simulate the experiment before undertaking it, compare actual experimental data along side theoretical data and to review, store and print theoretical results. The HST31S has a graphical front end with actual experiment hardware images to create continuity and has all key experiment parameters being recorded.

  • Equipment to provide the means of hanging a heavy roller chain between two pulleys of adjustable relative heights
  • A method of increasing the self-weight of the chain provided
  • Includes a length of roller chain to be used as a suspension cable and two spring balances to be used for tensioning
  • A height gauge supplied in order to measure the x,y co-ordinates of the chain.
  • Comprehensive technical manual for student and lecturer and text book provided
  • Must be used in conjunction with the HST1 Universal Frame and Stand (sold separately)
  • 2 year warranty
  • Comparison of experimental results of a suspension cable with a catenary
  • Study of use of the simplified theory assuming a parabolic curve
  • Symmetrical and unsymmetrical suspended cables
  • Determination of the effect of a point load