# Need to know about chains?

My question is about how chains and their links work. We know to old saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Regarding links, assume a 1000lb. weight is suspended by one oval shaped steel link. Each of the ends of the oval link, with one end to the hook and the other end to the weight, are holding in tension 500lbs, 1000lbs or another amount of weight?

Thinking about it another way, for the same 1000lb weight, if now suspended by a chain of 10 links of the same types of links, is the 100lbs evenly distributed to the 10 links where each link is holding 100lbs plus the weight of the additional links below it? If so, then the more links there are in the chain, the more weight (tension force) the chain can hold. Correct or does it not work out that way?

Please clarify. Thanks,

Bretina

active| newest | oldestWould graphene be another option to consider as a cable?

BTW: Is it possible the set the site to alert me by email when I get a reply to a post? If so how is that set - I don't see the option?

So, in the case of a suspending a 1000lb kettle ball with two handles, if chain inks were connected evenly to each handle and suspended by separate hooks, then each chain would be holding 500lbs. But if both chains, each connected to one handle but are entwined together, and hung by one hook then just the hook link takes the 1000lbs and all the other links are individually 500 lbs. Right?

Space Elevator?The elevator works like a tether_ball with a straw for an elevator.

The ball is a synchronous orbiting space station dangling a chain of carbon fiber

down to sea level. Carbon fiber is used because a steel chain or cable of the

satellite height length would break right away because of its own length

would get too heavy and tear the metal apart !!!

Carbon fiber is a flexible, much lighter material, and far stronger then any metal chain.

That is to say if you look at any link in the chain, there is a pair of forces

Tand -Tpulling on that link in opposite directions.Supposing you have a chain with ten links, with its bottom link (link 1) attached to a 1000 lb weight, and its top link (link 10) connected to a sturdy hook on the ceiling. Also suppose these links are made out of mithril, or some other magical material, so the links themselves are weightless, but still very strong.

The chain is tensioned in the vertical direction, since the hook on the ceiling is pulling it up, and the weight on the bottom link is pulling it down. Looking at the force balance for each link:

Link 1 feels a 1000 lb downward force from the 1000 lb weight, and a 1000 lb upward force from link 2.

Link 2 feels a 1000 lb downward force from link 1, and a 1000 lb upward force from link 3.

Link 3 feels a 1000 lb downward force from link 2, and a 1000 lb upward force from link 4.

Link 4 feels a 1000 lb downward force from link 3, and a 1000 lb upward force from link 5.

Link 5 feels a 1000 lb downward force from link 4, and a 1000 lb upward force from link 6.

Link 6 feels a 1000 lb downward force from link 5, and a 1000 lb upward force from link 7.

Link 7 feels a 1000 lb downward force from link 6, and a 1000 lb upward force from link 8.

Link 8 feels a 1000 lb downward force from link 7, and a 1000 lb upward force from link 9.

Link 9 feels a 1000 lb downward force from link 8, and a 1000 lb upward force from link 10.

Link 10 feels a 1000 lb downward force from link 9, and a 1000 lb upward force from the hook on the ceiling.

The situation is only slightly different for using a heavy steel chain, whose links happen to weigh exactly 1 lb each. In that case:

Link 1 feels a 1000 lb downward force from the 1000 lb weight, 1 lb downward due to its own weight, and a 1001 lb upward force from link 2.

Link 2 feels a 1001 lb downward force from link 1, 1 lb downward due to its own weight, and a 1002 lb upward force from link 3.

Link 3 feels a 1002 lb downward force from link 2, 1 lb downward due to its own weight, and a 1003 lb upward force from link 4.

Link 4 feels a 1003 lb downward force from link 3, 1 lb downward due to its own weight, and a 1004 lb upward force from link 5.

Link 5 feels a 1004 lb downward force from link 4, 1 lb downward due to its own weight, and a 1005 lb upward force from link 6.

Link 6 feels a 1005 lb downward force from link 5, 1 lb downward due to its own weight, and a 1006 lb upward force from link 7.

Link 7 feels a 1006 lb downward force from link 6, 1 lb downward due to its own weight, and a 1007 lb upward force from link 8.

Link 8 feels a 1007 lb downward force from link 7, 1 lb downward due to its own weight, and a 1008 lb upward force from link 9.

Link 9 feels a 1008 lb downward force from link 8, 1 lb downward due to its own weight, and a 1009 lb upward force from link 10.

Link 10 feels a 1009 lb downward force from link 9, 1 lb downward due to its own weight, and a 1010 lb upward force from the hook on the ceiling.

For the case in which the chain has weight, the links closer to ceiling are under slightly more tension, since they must support the big 1000 lb weight and the weight of the chain in links below them.

In answer to your question, No, EACH link is carrying 1000lbs, not splitting the load between them.

Only MULTIPLE chains, in parallel would share load.