A capstan is a device which utilises the Capstan Effect to increase the loading force of a rope by wrapping it around a cylinder. It has led to a wide variety of applications, including windlasses, conveyor belts and rock-climbing equipment. Although the Capstan equation gives a good approximation of the relationship between the hold force and the load force, according to Gao et al., several assumptions such as the rope being non-elastic and non-rigid is often hard to be fulfilled. This paper attempts to assess the relationship between the wrap angle of a capstan and the loading force.
This paper was submitted as an in-school practice “mini” Internal Assessment for the May 2022 International Baccalaureate Physics Higher Level exams. It was written with my fellow classmate.
Marks achieved: 23/24
Paper License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0