A square shape can be reinforced by adding a diagonal pole from one corner to another in the square. You will notice that the shape creates two triangles, known as a truss.
A triangle is the strongest shape. Adding another – the tube – ensures an incredibly strong structure.
Trusses are used in a variety of architectural construction, such as roofs, buildings and bridges.
They can even be seen in the most contemporary architecture.
Beam bridges are able to span greater distances when thicker beams are used in construction. If it’s too thick, it will cause sagging, but building a truss makes it lighter despite its thickness. Bridges constructed with trusses are extremely stable and strong.
Materials for Strength
The materials used in construction are important, as are their shape.
For a tensile fabric structure, look at websites such as http://www.fabricarchitecture.com/.
A steel beam holds more weight than a wooden alternative of the same shape and size. Bridges are often constructed from reinforced concrete and steel because of their strength.
• Silicone chips are manufactured from silicone – an element found in sand. It is purified and formed into three-foot long crystals. Using a diamond-tipped saw, the crystal is cut into small wafers, which are then refined, polished and photo-etched. These chips are used for a variety of products, such as computers and wristwatches.
• Charles Goodyear mistakenly dropped sulphur and a chunk of rubber into a hot stove in 1839. The rubber charred instead of melting and remained flexible in even cold conditions. This inspired Goodyear to innovate a process of manufacturing products from rubber. Previously, there were limited uses for rubber, but Goodyear discovered an industry full of uses for it.
• A practised igloo builder can construct an igloo in around 45 minutes. The builder will hold a torch against the outside and inside of the igloo after it has been built. As the ice melts, the water drawn out freezes. Igloos are so extraordinarily well insulated that someone could sit inside with no coat or outer layers, even if the outside temperature falls to 10°C.
• To help children identify shapes, place several different types of triangles, squares, and other shapes together and talk about the differences and similarities of the shapes.