Paul's Travel Pictures

"Crushing Cans With Steam" Science Experiment
Pictures, information & a video explaining how to crush soda cans using steam and a bowl of cold water.

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Soda Can Steaming

 
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Glowing Electric Heating Element

 
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Bowl of Ice Cold Water

 

If you've looked over my Miscellaneous Pictures section then the inclusion of this little science experiment on my site will be no surprise.

Kids, please ask your parents for permission if you're under 18 years of age.

To accomplish some soda can crushing of your own you'll just need some barbecue tongs, empty pop cans, a heat source, water, ice and a bowl.

Start off by putting a very small amount of tap water in the empty soda can. I prefer Pepsi. Just a few drops of water heated up and turned into water vapor can push out the air and fill the void in the container.

Turn on your gas stove top (with a pan on top) or electric heating element to the high setting and get a bowl of ice cold water ready.

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Imploded Pop Container
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Crushed Soda Can

Once you've seen steam rising from the top of the can for at least a few seconds, grab the Pepsi can with the metal barbecue tongs.

In one smooth motion, carefully turn the can over and submerge it head first into the bowl of cold water.

It should instantly implode and crush itself with a loud crunch sound.

Go ahead and repeat the steps a few more times, I know you want to thoroughly test this experiment to collect "data" like a good little scientist.

Why did the can crush all by itself? The answer is because the air pressure outside the can was much higher than inside since all the air was pushed out by steam.

When you dunked the can full of boiling water inside the bucket of freezing water, the hot water vapor inside immediately condensed leaving a void.

The cold water in the bowl could not fill this void quickly enough to equalize the pressure thus causing the can to be crushed by the pressure of the Earth's atmosphere.

Hey kids, want to try another fun science experiment? Check out my Mentos & Coca-Cola Volcano page. Have fun!

You can also take a look at all of the cool science experiment kits on Amazon.


Steaming Soda Can Crushing Experiment Video Clip
 
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