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Science for Kids/Science Fair-How Much Pressure To Crush a Tin Can

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Question
I am just starting my research and have read several articles.  I have not located exactly "how" I would measure the pressure that it takes to crush the tin can.  I understand that the tin can crushes upon pressure, but how do I measure the amount of the pressure?  Also, other than the internet, what resources are out there that I can review to assist me in my research and science project?

Answer
Pressure is the number of pounds per square inch, or in the metric system, the number of newtons per square meter.

You measure the force you put on the can.  You measure the diameter of the can top.  Then you calculate tne area of the can top.  Now divide the force by the area to get the pressure you are using to push on the can.

To measure the force there are several methods.  You can stand on it, and you know how much you weigh.  You can weigh books, and pile the books on top of the can.  You can drive a car on top of the can and you know how much the car weighs, etc.  You can put an empty jug on top of the can, then fill it with water.  You measure the volume of the water, then calculate the weight of the water.

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Sue Kayton

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I can answer almost any student science question! I especially like ones involving silkworms, spacecraft and computers.

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MIT graduate. Have worked as an engineer and taught science for 28 years.

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