Why does curling ribbon curl?
December 24, 2003 12:07 PM   Subscribe

A vaguely Xmas-related post: Why does curling ribbon curl?
posted by adamrice to Science & Nature (3 answers total)
You mean, the stuff you run over a scissors? WHat happens is that you're stretching one side of the ribbon beyond its elastic range. The ribbon, then, has one side whose natural length is greater than the other side. To reach equillibrium, the inside stretches, the outside compacts, and the whole damn thing curls.

An analogue to this is a car with an engine on each rear wheel - if one engine runs faster, (like the longer side of the ribbon), the car (or ribbon) wil turn (curl) to the other side.
posted by notsnot at 12:37 PM on December 24, 2003

here's what a professor @ the NSF thinks about it.
posted by azul at 12:42 PM on December 24, 2003

The professor is absent-minded and answered a question that wasn't asked! I'm surprised he didn't work a broom and ice into the answer to cover all the curling bases.

Notsnot got the ribbon answer to the best of my understanding.
posted by cairnish at 3:04 PM on December 24, 2003

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