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How the Slinky Buckles: Overcurvature

How the Slinky Buckles - RF CafeMathematicians have a need to express every aspect of nature in terms of an equation. That's a good thing... if not a bit obsessive. The March 2013 edition of SciAm has an article about "overcurved rings" such as those in a flat spiral spring; e.g., a Slinky. If you cut a full rotation of a Slinky (360°) and join the ends, you find that it does not lay flat due to overcurvature, but instead it assumes a saddle shape. Another familiar example of an overcurved ring is found in a pop-up tent. Interestingly, the author describes a method for folding an overcurved ring into a set of three concentric rings that will lay flat. I immediately recognized it as the method used to package large bandsaw blades, fan belts, etc. It can take a bit of noodling to figure out how to get the ring into that configuration if you don't have instructions. The video below is one I made a while back demonstrating how to fold a bandsaw blade.





Posted  February 2013
 
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Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster
Copyright: 1996 - 2018
Webmaster:
    Kirt Blattenberger,
    BSEE - KB3UON

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...

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