Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Engineering tricks with WolframAlpha

I’ve found Google great for simple problems like this:

20 pounds per cubic foot in kilograms per cubic meter= 320.36926 kilograms per cubic meter

But wolframalpha also lets you combine unit conversions with calculations:

(2 * 175 grams) per square meter * (2*3 meters squared) + ((20 pounds per cubic foot in kilograms per cubic meter) * 3 square meters * 5 millimeters)

Or just click on this link:*+175+grams)+per+square+meter+*+(2*3+meters+squared)+%2B+((20+pounds+per+cubic+foot+in+kilograms+per+cubic+meter)+*+3+square+meters+*+5+millimeters)

What’s the above tell me? It’s the theoretical weight of the kayak I’m currently building – about 7kg. In reality when hand laying fibreglass you get a much higher weight of epoxy rather than the one to one ratio that’s possible under vacuum application and which I’m using above.

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