Tension aplenty for spaghetti bridge contestants

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Tension aplenty for spaghetti bridge contestants


A previous USC Spaghetti Bridge contest.

29 March 2017

PLEASE NOTE: This event has been postponed due to weather conditions.

Expected heavy rainfall associated with ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie will add an extra challenge for teams competing in USC’s annual Spaghetti Bridge Competition tomorrow (Thursday 30 March).

Fourteen teams of Engineering students have used the theoretical and practical skills gained from the subject Mechanics of Materials to build 35cm-long bridges out of raw pasta and superglue.

Their bridges will be tested to destruction to determine which has the greatest load-carrying capacity, with previous winning entries capable of carrying loads as great as 76kg.

The action will take place outside USC’s visualisation studios in Building H2 on campus at Sippy Downs. The bridges will be presented at noon and the stress testing will start at 12.45pm.

Event organiser Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Selvan Pather said high humidity due to ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie could lead to a pressure-cooker situation for competitors.

“The forecast wet weather tomorrow will certainly make things a little more interesting,” he said. “There’s likely to be plenty of bending, twisting and deforming of the bridges before they fracture.”

Engineers from the competition sponsor, Covey Associates, will judge and award prizes for best design and construction as well as strength.

— Terry Walsh

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