Crush a Can in .13 Seconds




After seeing the instructable How to crush a can in less then 30 milliseconds with only a can water and a heat souce., I was inspired to create an instructable on crushing a can quicker.

Quicker in: less setup time, no wait for water to boil, no prep. of cooling water. This method can be accomplished in virtually no time at all.

Needed equipment:

1 - empty pop can
1 - large mass

Step 1: Position Can

Find a solid surface on which can will be crushed. It should be strong enough to support the can and the large mass used. I have chosen the kitchen floor for my surface. It provides a nice solid yet slippery surface adding just a little to the difficulty factor. If you want to be safe, pick a surface that isn't so smooth.

Step 2: Crush Can

I have chosen to apply 185 pounds of force on my can to crush it. A cylinder will support a large amount of force if applied properly and directly. After I have place the mass on top of the can, a slight adjustment to the positioning of the mass causes the cylinder to fail. Once that happens, a cascade of failures causes the can to be crushed flat. (see video)



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    11 Discussions


    1 year ago

    wow worked on the 1st try!!!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice, though not all can use. Elder and disabled may not be able to do this, and cans can scratch floors


    10 years ago on Introduction

    for my "large mass", i use a printout of all of the inappropriate and rude comments on my deviantart account! i have about half a ton of those!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I used 205 LBs for mine but I found that the speed of crushing did not change much. I thought it might crush faster with an extra 20 LBs but to no avail. I did time it with my wrist watch so it was not too scientific but the results were disappointing. I am going to attempt to crush it with about 190LBs in about 6 weeks or 2 months. I have found that I attached the weight a little too securely and am having problems removing the 15LBs to get closer to your optimum crushing weight.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    One of those laws of physics is at play here. Once the can fails, the rate it crushes will basically be constant once you get to a sufficient mass. Let me know how your further experiments go once you have been able to adjust your mass. If we tried this on the moon, the speed of crush would be slower due to the lower value of acceleration created by 1/6th earth gravity.

    ATJames (pseudo-geek)

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I hear ya! I am an engineer and we love to over design things. But being of an age where I have become, shall we say, wiser, I have learned that in many cases the simple approach is many times the best approach. But that doesn't mean I won't hook up a hydraulic cylinder to a series of pulleys and levers, electronic sensors, and such to create a can crusher! But for now, a force of 1 foot/can will do.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Do you know how hard it is to type when you are laughing your hind end off? ROFLMAO! Dude!