Last week in ME21 (Mechanical Engineering Laboratory I) we did an experiment that involved crushing cans. What we did was we placed the can in the machine testing rig and then we pushed the down button on the machine which puts the can under compression. We continued crushing the can until it had compressed a specified displacement.
Now when a structure, in this case the can, undergoes compressive stress it experiences buckling. This is when the can gives way and starts to compress. That is the cracking sounds in the can that you hear in the video below.
We did not just do this experiment for fun, all though we did enjoy it, we did it to determine the amount of work required to crush the cans and also to determine the force required to initiate buckling.
The data was collected using a force transducer. A transducer takes in a physical value, force in this case, and then converts it to a electrical output that can be used to represent the data.
I took a video of one of the cans that we crushed. It is on the Lehigh Engineering youtube account and the web address is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N5IzlMMRKc
Sorry for the people talking in the background.
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