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Our group explore varying forms of hanging chains as they are disrupted. There are two types of disruptions: rigid disruption, as formed by tightly-pulled fishing wire; and soft disruption, as formed by the overhangings between chains of various length. The exploration starts with the basic trial when three chains of different length are disrupted by fishing wire, which is aimed to see how chains reacted to the disrupting force. Two fishing wires can intersect to form a disrupting point. In our next two variations, we tried to disrupt the chain with only one disrupting point and then increased the number to three.

For the next three explorations, we tried with soft disruption. As one longer chain overhang a shorter chain, the longer chain will be disrupted as the shorter chain prevents the longer one from generating the natural hanging form. We started our exploration by forming chains into a two-by-two grid net, and then a four-by-four grid net. In the last variation, we concentrated one end of the four chains on a focus point, and spread them out.

On a practical bases, the disruptions of hanging chains can be used to discuss the distribution of forces on arches. As chains are disrupted, instead of forming a naturally hanging curve, segments of curves are formed, and the curvature of each curve segment is determined by the parts of gravity that segment bears. As a result, large arches with great expansion can be feasibly constructed and “disrupted” into small arches to distribute the load optimally.

Harper Bo
Zichen Huang
Liufei Zhu






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