TIL that the collective tension of all the strings on a piano totals out at about 20 tonnes.

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  1. That’s the main reason pianos weigh so much: the massive block of metal it takes to hold that much tension on all the strings at once.

  2. People vastly underestimate how strong fibers and cables can be under tension.

    One of those nylon straps you see on semi trucks holding cargo to the flatbed is rated to hold 4600lbs while moving at highway speeds. Every once in a while a huge 20 ton roll of steel will fall off a truck and drag next to it being pulled by a strap. They actually far stronger than rated.

    Not just that, but you could hang an Abrams tank in the air with a single 1 inch steel cable.

    Not to mention fiberglass. Everyone knows glass is not very strong. But if you turn it into fibers and glue it together with epoxy it becomes stronger than steel by quite a wide margin. While also being flexible like plastic.

    If you reinforce it with foam it suddenly becomes hyper rigid. So rigid it makes metal seem flexible.

    Fibers and cables are some of the coolest materials that most people ignore.

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