FAQ’s on Toppling

Toppling is a phenomenon that generally happens when force is applied on a body of the smaller base area. We will discuss this topic with the help of few questions.

  • With the help of an example define toppling?

Ans – Suppose we have a block as shown in the figure, when we apply force there should be translational motion.

Toppling

But sometimes instead of translational motion the body rotates about an axis passing through the rightmost edge. The box topples over to take the position as shown below.

Toppling

  • Explain with the help of FBD what happens during toppling?

Ans – Suppose the force is applied on the body as shown below,

Toppling

In order to counter the torque caused by F about center of mass the normal will shift.

Toppling

We have to find the maximum force that can be applied so that the block does not topple, in that case, the normal will pass through the extreme right corner.

Taking torque about axis passing through the right most corner,

\(Mg~ imes~frac{a}{2}~=~F~ imes~frac{3a}{4}\)

\(Rightarrow~F~=~frac{2}{3}~Mg\)

So if the force is greater than this the block topples over.

  • A force is applied on the block as shown. We have to find whether it topples first or starts moving. Assume the co-efficient of friction between the box and the surface is 0.5.

Toppling                      

     Ans – The first step is to draw the FBD,

Toppling

From vertical equilibrium,

\(N~=~Mg\) —- (1)

\(f_s\) = \(0.5~ Mg\) —- (2)

For the case when toppling is about to occur,

\(Mg~ imes~frac{a}{2}~=~F~ imes~frac{3a}{4}\)

\(Rightarrow~F~=~frac{2}{3}~Mg\)

\(Rightarrow~F~=~0.667~Mg\)………(3)

Comparing (2) and (3) we get,

On increasing the force the body first starts moving and when it reaches 0.66 Mg the block tends to topple over.

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