Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Karen, a student:

How many square feet ( at 1/4 inch thickness) are in 100 lbs. of wet clay?

Hi Karen,

I did a web search for the density of wet clay. I got different values but one that came up more than once was 110 pounds per cubic foot so that is what I am going to use.

First convert the thickness of 1/4 inches to feet. Suppose this thickness is $t$ feet. Suppose the area is $S$ square feet then the volume will be $S \times t$ cubic feet. This has a weight of 100 pounds so the density is

\[\frac{100}{S \times t} \mbox{ pounds per cubic foot.}\]

But you know the density is 110 pounds per cubic foot. Solve for $S.$


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