PDA

View Full Version : Possibly the dumbest question ever - Any idea of the tensile strength of the tape in 8 track tapes?



Perks
02-12-2017, 10:47 PM
I don't know where I could find one in a hurry for this minor thing in my story, but thought one of you stars might know the approximate strength of the tape inside of an 8-track.

If you spooled it out, and had a lot of it, how strong would it be for, say, tying down inanimate objects?

AW Admin
02-12-2017, 10:50 PM
It stretches before it breaks. You can test it yourself, roughly, by getting a cassette tape and destroying it.

The tape in 8-track cartridges is the same thickness, but a little wider.

Bacchus
02-12-2017, 11:18 PM
I think the tapes were made of polyester which has a tremendous tensile strength. The tapes you get round parcels are made of polyester, ok much thicker, but typically have a breaking strain in excess of half a tonne so a few wraps of 8-track could conceivably hold several hundred kilos.

I remember trying to destroy a cassette tape in a fit of pique after it had been knackered in the tape player and it was cutting into my hand rather than snapping so I had to use fire (to which they are very susceptible, along with scissors and razor blades)

Perks
02-13-2017, 04:46 AM
I think the tapes were made of polyester which has a tremendous tensile strength. The tapes you get round parcels are made of polyester, ok much thicker, but typically have a breaking strain in excess of half a tonne so a few wraps of 8-track could conceivably hold several hundred kilos.

I remember trying to destroy a cassette tape in a fit of pique after it had been knackered in the tape player and it was cutting into my hand rather than snapping so I had to use fire (to which they are very susceptible, along with scissors and razor blades)

Ah! Great info. Thank you!

Marlys
02-13-2017, 05:02 AM
If you weren't in a hurry, I'd say eBay. You can get an 8-track tape for as little as a buck, with free shipping.

blacbird
02-13-2017, 05:26 AM
I used to work with standard audio tapes, in the radio bidness. They have pretty good tensile strength. They stretch, but are really difficult to pull apart, simply reducing themselves to thinner strings. If you're writing a crime novel and wanted to strangle somebody with one, I think it would work.

And your question is by no means the dumbest ever. I teach. Trust me, there are some really dumb questions. The second dumbest is: "Is this going to be on the test?"

But the champion is: "Do I need to know this?"

I've been asked both, many times.

caw

josephperin
02-13-2017, 05:38 AM
Yeah, eBay is your best bet.

And, I echo blacbird. DO you need to know this? (sigh) I spent an hour yesterday researching society columnists in D.C circa 1980. Completely unnecessary, but I got fixated on the topic.

Perks
02-13-2017, 08:37 AM
Yeah, eBay is your best bet.

And, I echo blacbird. DO you need to know this? (sigh) I spent an hour yesterday researching society columnists in D.C circa 1980. Completely unnecessary, but I got fixated on the topic.

Ha! I could be wrong, but I don't think blacbird was asking if I needed to know about the utility of 8-track tape. I think he was saying that "Do I need to know this?" was the worst question he got from his students.


As it happens, I don't need to test it, I just was wondering if it was feasible to tie stuff down with it, and I thought someone here might have an opinion on that. As it happens, they did! This board is wondrous helpful for little things like this.

blacbird
02-13-2017, 09:29 AM
Ha! I could be wrong, but I don't think blacbird was asking if I needed to know about the utility of 8-track tape. I think he was saying that "Do I need to know this?" was the worst question he got from his students.

You are correct about this. It didn't occur to me that there could be any confusion. Sorry.

caw

Tsu Dho Nimh
02-13-2017, 04:00 PM
If you used multiple strands of it, you could certainly immobilize something or someone. A single strand can be stretched, but several strands are much harder.

WeaselFire
02-13-2017, 08:33 PM
As it happens, I don't need to test it, I just was wondering if it was feasible to tie stuff down with it, and I thought someone here might have an opinion on that.

Well, I've tested that. :)

In the 1980's I worked for a local TV station and we had tons of promo videos that were sent to the station. The bosses didn't like the tech guys using gaffer tape to hold equipment in place since it was expensive, so we pulled the tape from cassettes and used it as rope to fasten things in place or fix the broken equipment we didn't get money to repair properly. Pull it tight and it stretches and becomes great temporary rope. If you tied someone's hands with it they would not be able to break it. Cuts easily with a sharp edge or blade though.

Jeff

josephperin
02-13-2017, 08:47 PM
You are correct about this. It didn't occur to me that there could be any confusion. Sorry.

caw

Ha :D

I was never crazy enough to ask any my profs the q.

KTC
02-13-2017, 08:50 PM
A man in Lamu, Kenya, broke his six year old son's arm in a fit of rage and his momma make-shifted a splint using sticks and 8-track tape tape. I wish I didn't know this, but I do. The boy was lovely. He could not break the tape to take the splint off. It's strong.

Perks
02-13-2017, 09:25 PM
A man in Lamu, Kenya, broke his six year old son's arm in a fit of rage and his momma make-shifted a splint using sticks and 8-track tape tape. I wish I didn't know this, but I do. The boy was lovely. He could not break the tape to take the splint off. It's strong.

Wow. That's both useful and very sad.

Deb Kinnard
02-14-2017, 02:00 AM
"I remember trying to destroy a cassette tape in a fit of pique after it had been knackered in the tape player and it was cutting into my hand rather than snapping so I had to use fire (to which they are very susceptible, along with scissors and razor blades)"

A meat-tenderizing hammer also did the trick. I found that out after my children played "Free Willie" for the 42nd time that day. "Free Willie" had an oops moment.

I'd say eight-tracks had the approximate tensile strength of a modern VHS tape. IIRC the dimensions are about the same; don't know about the material.

jennontheisland
02-14-2017, 07:14 AM
Take an 8 track tape to your local engineering school. THey love busting stuff for science!

(I busted a lot of stuff when I was in school. Everything from concrete to cheese!)

Perks
02-14-2017, 08:00 AM
Take an 8 track tape to your local engineering school. THey love busting stuff for science!

(I busted a lot of stuff when I was in school. Everything from concrete to cheese!)

I wouldn't have bothered to start a thread if I had an 8 track handy to test it myself.

Luckily, as I'd hoped, there are people here who have enough experience to inform a few sentences.

blacbird
02-14-2017, 08:06 AM
I have a somewhat digressive question to ask, but not entirely irrelevant: Why do you need an 8-track tape to do whatever it is you want to do in your story? It strikes me as pretty weird to use tape from an 8-track cassette to do much of anything in terms of binding or tying something up or whatever. Surely there would be, in almost any realistic situation, any number of more easily available and usable cord materials to accomplish such tasks.

caw

Perks
02-14-2017, 08:26 AM
I have a somewhat digressive question to ask, but not entirely irrelevant: Why do you need an 8-track tape to do whatever it is you want to do in your story? It strikes me as pretty weird to use tape from an 8-track cassette to do much of anything in terms of binding or tying something up or whatever. Surely there would be, in almost any realistic situation, any number of more easily available and usable cord materials to accomplish such tasks.

caw

The 8-track is kind of the point for its obsolescence. There nothing sinister about his tying down things with it. Th example is that he's a hoarder and someone easily persuaded to buy/keep junk, which actually is germane to the story.

Quentin Nokov
02-15-2017, 01:04 AM
This is a very random question, but I'm very glad you asked it. 8-Track tape could be useful as a binding element in future stories. So harmless and insignificant, yet could turn sinister if used as rope. Thank you Perks and everyone who responded.

Perks
02-15-2017, 01:31 AM
This is a very random question, but I'm very glad you asked it. 8-Track tape could be useful as a binding element in future stories. So harmless and insignificant, yet could turn sinister if used as rope. Thank you Perks and everyone who responded.

I know, right?

shakeysix
02-15-2017, 03:19 AM
Didn't you see Castaway? Tom Hanks used cassette tape to hold the raft together. Too bad he didn't tie Wilson down with it. --s6

Perks
02-15-2017, 03:25 AM
I didn't remember that. Ha! Cool.

Jason
02-15-2017, 03:28 AM
Wiiiilllllllllsoooooooooonnnnnnn!!!!

Loved that movie