Conclusions and discussions
From the data obtained, we found out that the tripod structure was the best structure in holding the maximum amount of weights.This was due to the equal distribution of weights among the support of the structure. It was better than the rest of the structures as for the other structures, the weights were all focused on one point of the structure causing it to break or collapse as shown in Fig 8.
Fig 8. Point of structure causing most structures to break or collapse
A possible area of improvement in this experiment would be its accuracy of data collected. Due to time constraints we were not able to repeat the experiment a few times. If we were able to repeat the experiment, we would get a more accurate result comparing to our results.
A possible future application would be that engineers can build the water tower structure using the tripod structure for holding the water. As tested, the tripod structure was the best. With the tripod structure being built, it will minimise the materials used, saving costs and also at the same time holds more water despite using less materials, thus benefitting the people.
With more time and money, we would be able to research on much more structures other than the 3 we have done and also use better materials so as to achieve a better result. We would be able to repeat the experiment multiple times so that we can get a fairer result.
Our results are valid, however, it is not 100% accurate as the experiment was only done once. Mistakes also may affect the accuracy of the project. Mistakes such as not centering the weights completely, not cutting the sticks correctly and using a different amount of glue may affect results. They can be avoided by decreasing the human error however it will not be 100% error free. Base on our results, the tripod structure was the most effective weight carrier. However, by combining the three structures together, the distribution of weights will be much more efficient and thus holding the maximum weight. A better solution will be by adding more beams by the sides of the structure but this was not done as we have to make it a fair test. Some recommendations we would give is to get a better base as that pretty much was one of the reasons the structure collapsed and also get a bigger base at the top of the structure such that it can hold more weights with bigger surface area to prevent the weights from toppling to one of the sides. During our research, we found out that there 4 different failures that caused the water tower to collapse. They are bending failure, buckling failure, compression failure and punching failure.
Bending failure is when a beam is subjected to an external load applied perpendicularly. This causes the beam to bend until it breaks.
Fig 9. Example of bending failure
Fig 10. Explanation of bending failure
Buckling failure is when a horizontal force causes the beam to bend horizontally. This causes the beam to bend until it bends.
Fig 11.Examples of buckling failure
Fig 12. Example of buckling failure
Compression failure occurs when an application of power and pressure in a downward force on the beam. This will cause the beam to expand in a circle.
Fig 13. Explanation of compression failure
Punching failure occur when a base is subjected to high localized force and the beam pushes through the other material.
Fig 14. Explanation of punching failure
Fig 15. Example of punching failure