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The crew over at Mythbusters show you what a rail tanker implosion looks like.

So Mythbusters aired an episode where they created a rail tanker implosion to show the world what this rare occurrence would look like.

The science behind a train tanker implosion can be seen when you buy a bottle of water from the inflight menu when you next get on an airplane.

Carefully observe what happens to the water bottle if you only drink half the water and then close the lid tight.

As the plane descends, the air pressure in the cabin increases. The air pressure from cruise level is trapped in the bottle when you sealed it during cruise.

When the air pressure outside the bottle increases while the pressure inside stays at cruise level, at some point, the pressure difference gets large enough to deform or squeeze the plastic bottle.

The squeezed plastic bottle shrinks the space in the bottle. And when air gets squeezed into a smaller space, its pressure goes up.

When the bottle gets squeezed small enough so that the pressure inside is the same as the pressure outside, that’s the shape the bottle keeps. 

Of course this will only stop deforming shortly before landing.

Now in the myth that the Mythbusters are investigating, just like that plastic bottle, a rail tanker implosion occurred when a rail car is steam cleaned.

The steam heats the rail tanker up, and if the tanker car is then sealed up, the heated air and the pressure of the hot air will be trapped inside the rail tanker.

If this is done at the end of the day, and the temperature drops dramatically overnight, the air will be left to cool inside the rail tanker will reduce in pressure. This low pressure will be trapped inside the rail tanker car.

Since the atmospheric air pressure doesn’t change by a lot, there will be a pressure differential between the outside air and the inside air of the rail tanker. If the pressure is big enough, it’ll cause the rail tanker implosion that the Mythbusters are investigating.

However recreating the conditions of the myth was not easy. Here’s what the Mythbusters had to go through in order to recreate the rail tanker implosion test.

To recreate the effect required a lot of effort, finding someone willing to part with a tanker car for the test, locating somewhere safe to perform the experiment, and getting permits. It took the final season to bring everything together.

You can read the full article HERE.

Rail tanker Implosion

Tanker Car Implosion


For more satisfyingly destructive videos check out this 4×4 truck vs a tree video here!


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