Debris Impact Testing

Debris impact Testing canon

Debris Impact Testing Lab

The heart of the Debris Impact Facility is a pneumatic cannon capable of producing simulated wind speeds over 250 mph. The cannon can launch different types of simulated wind-born debris in a controlled environment to provide valuable impact resistance data.

The cannon plays an important role in researching effective tornado shelters for use in homes and other structures. The cannon is used to develop standards for safe above ground shelters, and continues to be in demand for testing new shelter materials and constructions.

The NWI has also been selected for Popular Science’s “Most Awesome College Labs 2013" and as one of "PopSci's Most Awesome College Labs 2011".

Watch a video demonstrating the debris impact cannon in action.This video is an impressive, slow-motion,actual impact of a sample debris cannon missile. (Credit: Sierra Conner, TTU Student)

For Information on Debris Impact Testing:

For information on testing and the testing schedule, please contact:

General Shelter Information

In-Residence Shelters
Annual Disaster/Death Statistics for US Storms
National Storm Shelter Association
Learn how to be Storm Safe (free on-line course from the International Code Council)

Reports: Tested Shelters, Shelter Doors & Components


Above Ground Tested Shelters (March 2015)
Below Ground Tested Shelters (March 2015)


Commercial Doors (August 2014)
Residential Doors (March 2015)


Components (Feb 2015)


Protocol 5 DOE (Jan 2015)

Other Reports (Misc.)

Debris Impact Testing Report
Construction Materials Threshold Testing Report
Final NIST Report
ICC-500 2014
Mayflower Door Research Report