Examples of tension force help us to explain how the tension force is transmitted through any flexible connectors such as rope, cable, wire, string, or chain. The article discusses such examples of tension force which are listed below:
Pulling a Rope
“You can’t push a rope”- the phrase the summed up the production of tension force. For the apparent reason, when we try to push one of the flexible connectors like rope, it will go slack. Instead, when we pull a rope, some tension will build on the rope in reaction.
The Latin meaning of the word “tension” is ‘to stretch“. In other words, a properly stretch rope after pulling from both ends possesses a tension force. The tension force acts along the length of the rope to carry the applied pull force to its other end of the rope.
When the children sit on the playground swing and start swinging, it applies downward pull force on the cable. Similarly, the pivot applies upward pull on the cables.
Since the seats and pivot stretch the cables – it generates tension force that supports the cables during swinging.
The climbing equipment like rope and the pulley encourage the adventurer people to climb the giant mountain safely.
Firstly, a technical climber does free climbing to a certain height and fixes the rope through the carabiner, which helps the other member climb the mountain quickly. The pulling force acted downward due to the climber’s weight, whereas another pulling force acted upward due to the carabiner.
The two forces at the rope’s ends create the tension force along the rope that carries the climber’s weight.
The massive bob swinging from its equilibrium position causes a tension force on the string which holding the bob from the rigid support.
Here, the downward pull on the string is due to the bob’s weight, while the upward pull is from the rigid support which resisting the string’s tug. Therefore, tension force acts along with the string’s length and equally on both objects at its ends – bob and rigid support.
Pulling a Bucket from Well
In the activity of pulling a bucket filled with water from a well, ropes and pulley are used.
The rope’s one end is tied to the bucket’s handle, whereas the other is passed through the pulley, which pulls by the person. Since the ropes get stretched due to the external pull forces by the bucket’s weight and pulley, the tension force is generated on the rope.
The person does not directly contact a bucket, but the rope becomes a medium to transfer the tension force indirectly to the bucket that pulls it out of the well.
Tug of War
The primary requirement to play the tug of war is the stretched rope that employs the tension force.
As per the game rule, when two teams start pulling ropes towards their side, tension force develops from both ends because of stretched ropes.
- If forces from both ends are equally balanced, it causes the same tension forces at the center of the rope.
- If forces are unbalanced, it causes different tension forces, and teams who apply maximum pull force than others – ultimately win the game.
In Lat Pull Down Machine, the weights attached to one end of a string offer pull force, whereas the pull force on another end is exerted when the person holds it with the holder’s help.
The coupled of pulled forces from both ends of string generates the tension force – used to stretch the body muscles.
While setting the tent on the mountaintop, it is pitched into the ground with the help of ropes.
During the heavy winds, the tent is continuously pulled along with ropes. Therefore, the stretched ropes produced the tension force, which transmitted to both ends and held the tent to the ground in the heavy wind.
The suspension bridge is the bridge supported by a network of cables.
In such a bridge, the number of cables kept hanging as they got pulled from both ends. The taunted cables produced the tension force which transmitted through the cables during the constant on boarding and offloading of vehicles on the bridge. If the cables do not provide sufficient tensile strength, it leads to the breakdown of the bridge.
Wire Balancing Act
In wire balancing activity, both ends of the wire are attached to the poles.
When a person starts walking on the wire, it stretches the wires downwards due to the weight. The stretched wires produced the tension force on wire that transmitted towards their both end, which helps balance the body on the thin wire.
While lifting any heavy objects, a crane machine uses a giant pulley and a long metallic chain.
Take a note that the crane’s operator and the heavy object are not in contact directly with each other. The stretching of long-chain occurs when it is pulled by both pulley and an object’s weight. Therefore, the required force to lift the object pass through the chain in terms of tension force.
The elevator is supported by cables that can endure high tension force. The value of tension developed on the elevator cables depends on whether it moves in the direction of gravity or against gravity.
- When the elevator is not moving or at rest, the tension is mg.
- When the elevator is moving in the direction of gravity, then tension is m(g-a).
- When the elevator is moving against the direction of gravity, then tension is m(g+a).
That is the reason the maximum tension generated on the elevator cables has limitations about the weight it can carry. Hence, a limited number of people are allowed in the elevator.
While towing any vehicle like a car or bike, a taunt chain or rope maximizes the power transfer between two vehicles.
When the chain is attached to the towing vehicle, its engine supplies energy to the arrangement of pulley and chain, which transfers tension force on the taunt chain. Therefore, the energy provided gets coupled to the vehicle, permitting the operator to tow that vehicle.
The seat belt clip of the vehicle that is fixed at both ends generates tension force.
When we apply the brake to the vehicle’s wheels, our body is pulled outwards naturally due to gravity. But the tension force on the seat belt can resist our pulled force on the body, preventing major to minor accidents.
While playing the guitar, we pull guitar strings with our fingers that creates tension force on them.
Since both ends of strings are tied to the guitar, transmitted tension force along the strings gets reflected at both ends, leading to the generation of sound waves.
Have you noticed that wires are fixed between two poles in the wire fencing network?
Since the wires are fixed tightly, it gets stretched. The stretched wire generates the tension force, which prevents them from breaking.