Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


Boom stress in fairground ride

Boom stress in fairground ride

Boom stress in fairground ride

Hi all,

Newbie here and not a mechanical engineer; please be patient smile

I have been fascinated for a long time with a flat pack ride called Enterprise (see http://pointbuzz.com/content/ask-rideman-seat-belt... for some interesting info on this 70's product still going strong).

The main boom is lifted by a single-ended hydraulic cylinder. When the boom is horizontal the cylinder is only at a shallow angle to the boom and so most of the force exerted by the cylinder must be trying to rip the boom from its pivoting point instead of raising it. I do get that because of the various pivoting points the resulting action is actually raising the boom but some nagging questions remain:

- is it just a matter of properly sizing the mounting points to cope with this "ripping" stress? (interestingly enough cracks near the boom mounting point have been found on some of these rides)

- as the boom rises and the angle increases the cylinder must become more "effective" (probably not the right term). Am I correct in assuming oil pressure needs to be reduced to prevent the boom raising at an accelerated rate?

Your expert replies are much appreciated.



RE: Boom stress in fairground ride

Forces are vectors; they have a magnitude and a direction.
They add at pivot points in a sort of geometric fashion.
Sophomore engineering majors should learn how to add forces, and to resolve them into components aligned with the multiple members at a joint.

Using a tool known as a free body diagram and some trigonometry, the forces acting on a given part or assembly can be resolved into component forces for each member of that part or assembly.
You have correctly intuited that the forces within an assembly can be quite a bit larger than the external forces acting on the assembly.

Hydraulics are ideal for this sort of situation, where they may work with a disadvantageous mechanical advantage for part of their stroke.
You have also correctly intuited that a cylinder supplied with a constant flow may generate large velocities when its mechanical advantage is disadvantageous as above, so some sort of flow control may be provided, as in a variable bypass valve, or a pump with variable capacity.

( In the specific circumstance you mention, the pressure must be raised to compensate for the lack of mechanical advantage, while the flow must be reduced to limit the velocity, which is otherwise magnified by the same mechanical disadvantage. )

In the above, I hope that I have not further confused you, and have provided you with some search phrases that may help your eventual understanding.

Yes, it's as simple as making the mechanical parts big enough to withstand the predicted forces, and before that, of correctly predicting the forces, and of allowing enough margin to compensate for unknowns and for wear associated with regular disassembly and reconstruction, and of making it difficult to reconstruct the assembly in the wrong way, and of making it all strong enough to do its job and also light enough so that the pieces can be handled by a small crew, and small enough so that the collapsed ride will fit on a finite number of trailers with finite width, and go under bridges with standard clearance, and to ensure that the pieces will fail in a graceful way, e.g. by cracking in a place that will be visible during a casual inspection, and, and,
... if it was easy, anybody could do it.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Boom stress in fairground ride

Thanks Mike; no confusion, got the answers I was looking for and great pointers for further topics of interest to boot. BTW being part of conception and design of flat pack rides must be a great career, should have listened to that little guy inside all those years ago smile

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close