Demos: 2A-06 Imploding Can


A more dramatic version of the milk jug demo, this demonstration shows the destructive nature of a large pressure difference between the inside and outside of the aluminum can.

Directions: Prepare for the demo by first lighting the butane torch. Place an insulated glove on one hand and with the other pick up the pop can by the tab using the pair of tongs. (The can should already contain a small amount of water.) Hold the can over the flame (some smoking will occur as the paint is burned off) and wait for the water to boil. Allow steam to come out of the can for about thirty seconds to insure that there is no air left in the can. Then QUICKLY grab the bottom of the can with your gloved hand and push it into the large beaker of water, tab side down. If done quickly, the can will be crushed dramatically.

Suggestions for Presentation: If you have done the milk jug demo (2A-5), refer to the results of that demo, namely, that the condensation of the water vapor created a partial vacuum in the jug. In this case, the process occurs more quickly (and loudly). You might point out that more than one concept is at play here. As the vapor condenses in the can, water is pushed up into the can, but because of the inertia of the water, it takes time to move into the can. The can is crushed quickly.

Applications: See Demo 2A-5.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2016 11:44 AM