UTP students set new stick bomb record

UTP mechanical engineering students set off stick bombs at the UTP Chancellor Complex, Seri Iskandar September 26, 2018. — Picture by Marcus Pheong
UTP mechanical engineering students set off stick bombs at the UTP Chancellor Complex, Seri Iskandar September 26, 2018. — Picture by Marcus Pheong

SERI ISKANDAR, Sept 27 — A group of 46 mechanical engineering students from Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) entered the Malaysian Book of Records (MBOR) for setting off the most number of stick bombs yesterday.

The students from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers UTP student chapter set off 30,050 stick bombs with 703.2 meters in length at the UTP Chancellor Complex here.

This is the first time such a feat has been attempted in Malaysia.

A stick bomb is a mechanical spring-loaded device constructed out of flat sticks woven together under a bending moment. The stick bomb is constructed by crossing two sticks into an ‘X’ shape.

A third stick is tucked under the end of the second stick and the new stick goes over the first stick, and this is repeated until all sticks have been consumed.

Project manager Nur Shamilah Shadun Zubiar said they have been preparing for the project since January and had spent almost nine hours a day practicing weaving the sticks.

“The main challenge is to ensure that everyone masters the weaving of the sticks. We have attempted the challenge for about 30 times,” she told reporters.

“The sticks are highly sensitive to weather, they will deform if we use them several times,” she added.

Nur Shamilah said that the time to weave the stick bomb also plays an important part because if it took more than six hours then the sticks will not react.

Nur Shamilah said the students decided to take on this challenge as it was related to their studies.

"When we weave the stick, it will store elastic potential energy. When the sticks are moved, it produces kinetic energy," she said. 

Nur Shamilah said the students will also try to attempt another record in the future by setting off about 60,000 sticks.

MBOR office manager Lee Pooi Leng presented the MBOR certificate to the students after completing the task.

“The students need to weave at least 20,000 sticks with 500 meters in length to set the record, but they have done more than that,” said Lee.

In April last year, UTP successfully made it into MBOR for the longest great ball contraption machine.

About 52 students from the Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Computer and Information Sciences programme were involved in the making of the machine.

The machine was 26.18 meters long and incorporated 50 engineering, scientific and programming concepts. It consisted of 21 stations that generate a chain of actions by showcasing 34 basic principles of physics.

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