Balsa Dam Q & A

1. What is the size of the tank (reservoir) that will be used for testing?

The geometry of reservoir will be a rectangular prism having inside dimensions of 19” (in) long by 12” (in) wide, and a depth of 10” (in). The reservoir will be filled with 5 gallons (the water level will not be completely filled to the top but should have a depth of about 8 inches). The testing should take about 5 minutes (assuming accurate flow rate). On the 19” face of the apparatus is where the dam will be secured.

2. Will the amount of water be poured in all at once, or will the water be standing still at a certain height when testing begins? Or will a steady stream be put into the tank (reservoir).

The water will be poured in all at once, there will be a total of 5 gallons in the reservoir.

3. Are balsa wood sheets permitted as long as they are the proper grain type and thickness? 

No, balsa sheets are not permitted.

4. What are the members? The envelope does not show any members. We are interpreting this competition as a balsa wood sheet with various holes in it, is this correct? Or should the entire dam be constructed with individual members of balsa wood (0.5in X 0.5in sticks)?

The entire dam must be constructed with individual members of balsa wood (0.5in X 0.5in sticks).

5. Is there a restriction on the number of holes that can be used to relieve the water? Or a restriction in size or shape of the holes?

There is no restriction in the shape or size of the opening in the dam.

6. Where would the placement of the bracket be located? So that the base of the tank/reservoir and the opening of the bracket are at the same level or the 2" in Figure 2 are above the base of the tank meaning that there will be an amount of water stuck?

The reservoir will start at the openings. 2 inches will be notched into the reservoir, in which the dam will be secured.

7. Does the cross-section of the elements have to be specifically 0.5” x 0.5” or is 0.5” x 0.5” the maximum of the cross-sectional area?

0.5” x 0.5” is the maximum cross-sectional area, the elements do not have to be specifically 0.5” x 0.5”.