2B30.25 Crush the Can with Vacuum


Air pressure


Pumping the air out of a steel can enables atmospheric pressure to crush the can.



  • [1] Can
  • [1] Vacuum pump
  • [1] Lab stand
  • [1] 90-degree clamp
  • [1] 3-finger clamp

Classroom Assembly

  1. Place the can somewhere visible to the class.
  2. Plug in the pump.
  3. Turn on the pump to check that it works. Turn it off when done.
  4. Set up the lab stand and clamps to support the pump tubing.
  5. Attach the pump to the can.


  1. Turn on the pump. The resulting vacuum will crush the can.
  2. Turn off the pump.


Additional Resources


  • PIRA 2B30.25


  • Don't attempt this at home!

Last revised

  • 2020


  • Some cans may have a metal carrying handle on them. The handle should probably be removed to prevent it from flying off during the experiment.
  • The cans are 1 gallon or 1 quart oblong F-style cans purchased from Wells Can just down the mountain from Burnaby campus.

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If you have any questions about the demos or notes you would like to add to this page, contact Ricky Chu at ricky_chu AT sfu DOT ca.