# Is the (range of the) strong force the same for nucleons and quarks?

In high school, I learnt that the strong force held the nucleus together. It had a very short range and was repulsive at small separation distances to prevent the nucleons from collapsing.

Now I am doing a course on nuclear physics and I have realised that the strong force acts on quarks too.

Suppose the strong force becomes repulsive at a critical separation $$r_c$$.Then the first question I thought was this:

The strong force is repulsive between nucleons separated by a distance $$r$$ with $$r. I expect that the distance between quarks within a nucleon is smaller than the value of $$r_c$$. So why does the strong force not result in the quarks repelling and cause a complete disintegration of the nucleon?

And that is my question.