In this article, (and video above), we calculate the compression of a loaded spring to give you a better understanding of what you can expect during the exam. This week’s problem was created and solved by Enrique Ivers, an Engineer in Training.
A disk with a mass of 1kg, a diameter of 10cm, and a width of 5cm is placed on the edge at the top of an inclined ramp 1m high. The ramp is inclined at 15°. At the bottom of the ramp is a spring whose spring constant is 2,000 N/m. The disk rolls down the ramp and compresses the spring while coming to a complete stop. What is the maximum compression of the loaded spring?
At the top of the ramp, all energy is gravitational potential energy. At the bottom of the ramp, all energy is spring potential energy. Mass and height are the only variables given that impact the energy. Neglecting the small loss of gravitational potential energy in deflecting the spring, the energy balance equation is:
The correct answer is B.
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I’ll see you next week.
Anthony Fasano, P.E.
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success