PIRA 2B20.60 - Static Pressure:
Photo Shows the Apparatus Used at U.T. Austin
Instructions / Notes:
Place two long pieces of wood on the outer edges of the hydraulic press platform placed
horizontally as shown in the picture.
Balance the block of wood that will be split in between these wood pieces.
You can either place the block so it will be split against the grain or with the grain. If
splitting with the grain, be sure to do this further away from the students, as the wood
will split and shoot off in different directions.
Pump the piston to push it up and split the piece of wood.
To lower the piston after use, remove the metal bar from the pumping mechanism and
place it over the release valve as indicated in the picture.
Rotate the valve by one turn counterclockwise to release the pressure. Push down hard
onto the piston platform to return it to its original position.
Be sure to re-tighten the pressure valve by turning it clockwise. If the release valve is too
loose, it may leak oil!
Return the metal bar to the pumping mechanism.
When putting away, place another piece of wood in the apparatus.
Be sure to provide safety glasses or goggles for this demonstration. When the block is
split, it will shoot the wood in different directions!
Place this demo further away from students and towards the back of the room to reduce
possible projectile collisions on bystanders.
Last Updated 2023 - University of Texas at Austin - Physics
Dept. - All Rights Reserved.