Debris Impact Facility
The Debris Impact Facility is an A2LA accredited ISO/IEC 17025-2005 A2LA test laboratory. DIF offers accredited storm shelter, safe room, commercial and residential door, window, and other components testing in accordance with FEMA 320, FEMA 361 and ICC-500, including structural performance of exterior doors, windows, curtain walls, and skylights by Uniform Static Air pressure testing, determining the ability of elements of the building envelope to remain unbreached during severe windstorm event, including hurricanes or tornadoes.
The Debris Impact Facility is intended to promote public safety and welfare and helps prevent deaths and lower property losses incurred due to extreme weather events and their effects. DIF performs debris impact tests on storm shelters, shelter components and building materials in order to develop the safest, most impact-resistant materials to better protect individuals.
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".
- Analysis of the Above-ground Shelter Door Failure April 27, 2014 Tornado, Mayflower, Arkansas
- Debris Impact Resistance Building Assemblies Submitted to NIST
- Guidance for Wind Resistant Residential Design, Construction & Mitigation
- Pressure and Impact Test Performance of Above-Ground Non-complying Tornado Shelter Doors
- Standard Test Method for Materials attached to Vertical or Near Vertical Surfaces and Their Resistance to Horizontally Propelled Freezer Ice Balls
- Standard Test Method for Structural Performance of Exterior Doors, Windows, Curtain Walls, and Skylights by Uniform Static Air Pressure Difference using Air Bladders
For Information on Debris Impact Testing:
Tammy Pitzer, Office Manager
- Phone: (806) 834-8604
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (806) 834-2320
- Email: email@example.com
Frequently Asked Questions
Tested Shelters, Doors & Components:
- Protocols DOE
- FEMA P-320 - Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business, Fourth Edition (2014)
- FEMA P-361 - Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms, Third Edition (2015)
- ICC 500-2014: ICC/NSSA Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters