The Beer Can as a Shock Absorber

[+] Author and Article Information
P. H. Wirsching

Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.

R. C. Slater

Mechanical Engineering Technology, Cogswell Polytechnic College, San Francisco, Calif.

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 95(4), 224-226 (Oct 01, 1973) (3 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3443157 History: Received April 06, 1973; Online August 17, 2010


Static and dynamic testing performed on steel beer and soda cans has indicated that the cans, when loaded along the longitudinal axis, possess mechanical properties ideal for shock absorption. The static and dynamic mechanical behavior of the 12 oz steel cans is presented. It was shown that the energy absorption capability of the cans is not strongly dependent upon impact velocity. Moreover it was shown that pneumatic forces caused by air entrapped in the cans contribute significantly to the total force in the can during impact.

Copyright © 1973 by ASME
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