# Faster or slower to crush cans?

• John Archer
In summary, the author has built a can crusher that uses 2 air filled tires to flatten the cans. The theory behind this is that the momentum of the heavy rubber tire will effectively crush the cans "flatter". The biggest effect is from tire pressure, with speed being a small factor.
John Archer
I've built a can crusher that uses 2 air filled tires to flatten the cans.
My question:
Which theory is correct?
A) Spin the tires faster, The momentum of the heavy rubber tire will effectively crush the cans "flatter"
B) Spin the tire slower, giving the air pressure in the tires more time to flatten the cans

The tires are in constant contact with each other, and I normally run 20Psi of air in each tire.
1 tire rotates clockwise, the other, counter clockwise. When a can is dropped onto the tires, it is pulled in between the tires, and crushed.

While aluminum has a strain rate sensitivity, the effect is small over the range of strain rates in crushing cans.

The tire tread deflects when crushing a can, so the inertia of the tire tread will tend to increase crushing force at higher speeds.

The air in the can gets compressed at higher speeds because it flows out through an orifice (the opening), which would tend to reduce the net crushing force at higher speeds.

All of these effects are difficult to calculate, but my best guess is that speed will have a small effect. I think that the largest single effect will be from tire pressure.

John Archer
Welcome to the PF, John.

Is this hand-powered? Or do you have 1-2 electric motors spinning the tires?

If hand-powered, how many cans to you crush at a time? Only one every hour or so, or do you do a whole trash bag full of cans at a time?

How do you orient the cans when you feed them in between the tires? On the same axis as the spin axis of the tires, or so that the top and bottom of the can contact the two tires at the same time?

And are you aware of the trick that makes crushing cans about 10x easier? It's pre-dimpling the sides of the can to weaken it...

Asymptotic and John Archer
berkeman said:
And are you aware of the trick that makes crushing cans about 10x easier? It's pre-dimpling the sides of the can to weaken it...
Cool! I never heard of that.

Yeah, I crush my cans all the time by hand; it's really easy if you know the tricks. Pre-dimple the middle of the can with 4 dimples (two hands at the same time, thumbs and middle fingers). Then crush it end-to-end with a twisting motion. Be a little careful that the middle of the can doesn't tear during the crush, or you could nick your hand on the tear's sharp edge.

Easy peasy.

John Archer
berkeman said:
Welcome to the PF, John.

Is this hand-powered? Or do you have 1-2 electric motors spinning the tires?

If hand-powered, how many cans to you crush at a time? Only one every hour or so, or do you do a whole trash bag full of cans at a time?

How do you orient the cans when you feed them in between the tires? On the same axis as the spin axis of the tires, or so that the top and bottom of the can contact the two tires at the same time?

And are you aware of the trick that makes crushing cans about 10x easier? It's pre-dimpling the sides of the can to weaken it...
I am using (1) 1/2hp motor with a dual belt speed reduction system to slow it down to something less than frightening LOL!
1 tire drives the other.
Cans are dropped from above through a short tube (safety) and enter the tire crushing area vertically.
It can/will crush the cans as fast as I can drop them into the tube (they come out faster than they go in right now). As such, no need to dimple. Though that reminds me if stupid games we would play as kids. Stand on and empty can, try not to let it get crushed until you are only supported by the can, then, as quickly as you can, tap the side, but get your fingers out before the can gets crushed.
How did we survive ?

I'll try to post a video when I get home.

berkeman
Yeah, a video would definitely be fun!

John Archer said:
How did we survive ?
The most famous words in history!

diogenesNY, jrmichler, Rive and 1 other person
John Archer said:
B) Spin the tire slower, giving the air pressure in the tires more time to flatten the cans
Those small AL cans and those tires - I don't think there is much a difference regarding the tires itself, it is an overkill anyway.
The reason I would suggest to speed down a bit is due the cans instead: the air pressure building up within due the fast compression.

## 1. How does the speed at which cans are crushed affect the overall process?

The speed at which cans are crushed can impact the overall process in several ways. If the crushing speed is too slow, it may take longer to crush a large number of cans, resulting in a slower overall process. On the other hand, if the crushing speed is too fast, it may cause the cans to be crushed unevenly or even result in damage to the crushing mechanism. Therefore, finding the optimal crushing speed is important for efficient and effective can crushing.

## 2. Is it more efficient to crush cans at a faster or slower speed?

The efficiency of can crushing depends on various factors such as the type of can crusher, the size and material of the cans, and the speed at which they are crushed. Generally, a moderate crushing speed is considered to be the most efficient as it allows for a smooth and consistent crushing process without causing excess strain on the crushing mechanism.

## 3. Does the speed of can crushing affect the quality of the crushed cans?

Yes, the speed at which cans are crushed can affect the quality of the crushed cans. If the crushing speed is too slow, it may result in unevenly crushed cans which can be difficult to recycle. On the other hand, crushing cans at a very high speed may cause them to be crushed too much, making them difficult to handle and potentially damaging the recycling equipment.

## 4. Are there any safety concerns with crushing cans at a faster speed?

Yes, there may be safety concerns with crushing cans at a faster speed. If the crushing mechanism is not properly designed or maintained, a faster crushing speed can cause the cans to be crushed with excessive force, resulting in potential hazards such as flying debris. It is important to follow safety guidelines and use proper equipment when crushing cans at any speed.

## 5. Can the speed of can crushing be adjusted for different types of cans?

Yes, the speed of can crushing can be adjusted for different types of cans. Some can crushers come with adjustable speed settings, allowing for a more customized crushing process. It is important to adjust the crushing speed according to the size, material, and thickness of the cans to ensure efficient and safe crushing.

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