Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Spend a Penny to Crush a Car

method of making cars into disks for walking on
  (+10, -3)
(+10, -3)
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Spend a Penny to Crush a Car is a machine that is installed in a public place, for the purpose of raising money for a charity.

It does this by enabling participants to play their small part in the crushing of a car.

The machine is like a conventional crusher, except it is cylindrical, with one half of the enclosing wall made of suitably reinforced glass to enable to process to be observed. The entire arrangement resembles a syringe with the car inside.

Depositing a coin releases the lock on a handle, which is easily turned, even by a child. The rotation of the handle is transmitted through multiple gears, causing the plunger to bear against the car. Twenty rotations result in a one millimetre movement, which is observable on a large gauge.

Over a period of time the car is inexorably reduced to a circular disk crushed against one end of the cylinder.

Once crushed, the car is then fused into molten glass. These car disks are then placed into recessed circles flush with ground level, in a park for people to walk on.

xenzag, Mar 29 2007

Useful conversion tool for [Absinthe] http://joshmadison.com/software/convert/
This will help you work some coversions, though it doesn't have 'ksi'. [TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 30 2007]


       A 20:1 ratio seems far too small to provide adequate force. A typical car crusher utilizes 300,000 PSI hydraulics powered by a 100 HP motor.   

       No matter how hard you press, steel, aluminum, rubber and vinyl will not "fuse into molten glass".   

       Finally, one has to consider whether the best use of several thousand pounds of scrap steel is a paving 'stone'.
nuclear hobo, Mar 29 2007

       Why just cars? Lots of things should be put into the press.
bungston, Mar 29 2007

       Why cars ? I like the idea of converting them into a paving surface.
xenzag, Mar 29 2007

       How much would you get for the car crushing? -- a typical car is what, about... 4 meters long? so... 4000 pennies, or $40... minus about 10 cm-worth of car remaining after the smooshing is complete, so $39.   

       Doesn't sound too terribly cost effective! you should raise your rates to a nickel. Then each car would net you $200 minus a fortieth for leftovers, so $195, minus the cost of the car to your charity, unless it was donated for free.   

       You could also charge a flat rate to crush the whole thing ( a "big red button" next to the crank) that is discounted to like, $150, if people want instant gratification.
CaptainClapper, Mar 29 2007

       Instead of the gearing mechinism, just provide an empty space above the cylinder. As people add coins, the cylinder gets heavier. It will take quite a few coins to complete a crush.
Worldgineer, Mar 29 2007

       ... ok - I give in. Make it an even £1 coin.
xenzag, Mar 29 2007

       what's that worth in real money? :^D   

       hehehe, you'd make a pound per pound. Although you'd measure it in kilograms. But still.
CaptainClapper, Mar 30 2007

       I've always been confused as to why people want to crush cars. Is it because older cars pollute more? So let's use a fairly massive amount of energy to crush it into a much smaller chunk of steel, then melt it down, using more fossil fuels along the way, so we can keep it from putting out a little more CO2 than a new car, which has to be built to replace it, causing even more enviromental damage. If it's just because its sitting there not being used with no plans to be used, that's ok. But if it's a mandatory program for vehicles not meeting a certain emissions requirement (I believe California has something of that nature), it's a move in the wrong direction. Recycling is good, but re-using is better.   

       But as for crushing cars in this manner, I wholeheartedly give you an un-crushed crossiant. It reminds me of the penny flattening machines at theme parks, but on a much larger scale.
Hunter79764, Mar 30 2007

       How do you crush steel into glass? Isn't glass silicon (or more precisely, silicon dioxide) rather than iron with a bit of carbon?
Galbinus_Caeli, Mar 30 2007

       he meant -- crush the steel, then suspend the crushed car in glass, for a paving stone.
CaptainClapper, Mar 30 2007

       bearing in mind that steel is the most recycled material on the planet this seems counter productive in many ways.   

       While interesting visually this idea seems to really be a very mean spirited rant against the automobile which is in fact one of the most successfully recycled machines ever created by mankind.
jhomrighaus, Mar 30 2007

       I like it.
Pennies for pounds.

       //300,000 PSI// I think you have slipped in a few too many 0's, there. 3000psi is probably nearer.
Ling, Mar 30 2007

       Oh, I dunno, maybe it's 30ksi, I know a lot of gear runs 10ksi, so it's not outside the realm of possibility.
Custardguts, Mar 30 2007

       most public loos don't have room for this sized machinery.
po, Mar 30 2007

What's "ksi" ?


What [po] said.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 30 2007

       I love using compactors!   

       //suitably reinforced glass// - I don't think you can reinforce glass to anything like the strength you will require. Maybe you could have steel pistons and a glass window in the side?
wagster, Mar 30 2007

       1ksi = 1,000psi   

       I've tried to put words around the wonder of such a unit as "ksi", but I can't. Priceless.
TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 30 2007

       So 300ksi is about 2000 bar? About 10 times the pressure in a SCUBA cylinder. <whistles through teeth, expressing engineering respect>
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 30 2007

       Uh, I make 300ksi as 20,000 bar... Either I've made a mistake, but I've double checked it a few times, or someone else has
TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 30 2007

       <whistles even louder in engineering respect, and hangs head in shame from poor arithmetic >20k atm it is then - what's that in Pascals? </welierahhisfpa>
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 30 2007

       My trusty "convert" tool (see link) tells me that 300ksi is 206,842,700Pa.   

       An online calculator tells me that's equivalent to 200km under the sea.
TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 30 2007

       That's a really handy conversion program, [TLAOB]. It will really come in handy on a lot of my homework.
Hunter79764, Mar 31 2007

       [Hunter 79764]
I could be wrong but I expect its expense. It would take much more money to rebuild a car one at a time (rebore cylinders, replace worn parts, re-weld broken components, etc) than it is to melt them down and start over with standardized construction. It mght even take more energy as the custom work is a lot less efficient. AFAIK, no one requires older or innefecient cars to be melted down (even in CA, people collect antique cars). If it doesn't meet the requirments it can't be driven on the road without special permits, but it doesn't have to be melted down.
Also, I suspect over the life of a car, melting down and building a more effecient car does save energy compared to just driving the old one.
MechE, Apr 01 2007

       It would be cool if your nickle bought the ability to raise a big weight a certain distance, which would then be dropped all at once on the car.
nomocrow, Apr 01 2007

       That was my first idea... but I prefer the notion of slow crushing, without instantaneous gratification
xenzag, Apr 01 2007

       okay that is officaly evry child's dream
crash, Apr 03 2007

       Forget the gears. Too much inertia and energy loss. Go for simple hydraulic action.
RayfordSteele, Apr 04 2007


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