A Steam Engine For Empty Beer Cans

A Steam Engine For Empty Beer Cans

If Hero — the ancient Greek inventor — had been able to enjoy a beer after work, he might have pulled a trick like [BevCanTech] did: use it to create a simple steam engine. Of course, we aren’t sure why it has to be a beer can, but even with a soda can there is a fundamental problem: the can is open, assuming you’ve already enjoyed the beverage.

A pressure vessel with a big gaping hole in it isn’t much of a pressure vessel. The resealing process was actually quite simple. First, you bend back the tab to close up the opening as best you can. Next, you use cyanoacrylate glue and baking soda to seal up what’s left. We wondered if you could use epoxy, hot glue, or UV-curable resin. The top might get too hot for hot glue to last, but we aren’t sure.

Like Hero’s engine, this probably isn’t terribly practical, but it is fun. Eventually, the string twists up and you need a very hot flame. The “methylated spirits” flame mentioned is what Americans usually call denatured alcohol. That’s nothing more than alcohol that has additives to make it unpleasant for people to drink.

We’ve seen this trick before, but it required emptying the can without opening the main hole. Simple steam engines like this are attributed to Hero, but he actually invented quite a few things.

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