WMU Has Hurricane Simulator That Tests Building Materials
Western Michigan University has a hurricane simulator that is used by researchers to test building materials and how they hold up to hurricane-force winds.
As we saw with Hurricane Ida that recently hit Louisiana, the destruction that was left behind is just unreal but seems to be happening more frequently in the last ten years.
In order to rebuild in areas often hit by hurricanes, it is important to study the materials that are used, so hopefully, when things get rebuilt, the proper materials are used so they hopefully withstand the damaging winds and water.
According to FOX 17, WMU researchers are using the "dynamic wind uplift table" to simulate hurricane-force pressures by testing the durability of roofing materials. Researchers hope these tests can help create better building codes in order to withstand hurricanes.
WMU's Bronco Construction Research Center Director Brian Montgomery said, "what it does is, it simulates pressures associated with hurricanes and tornadoes."
This hurricane simulator is a fascinating machine that is 12 by 24 feet in size. The machine pushes air at different pressures over roofing materials to simulate a severe wind storm.
I really like Montgomery's take on this project when he said, "We see the same damage, the same time of year, in the same location, and so the current model is to build, destroy and rebuild. This is why our motto is to build, sustain, and survive."
The researchers are looking at a lot of different variables when they are testing building materials. It's not just a good or bad rating, they are trying to find ways to help make products that are more resilient to the weather conditions.
WMU hopes to continue the research and continue to increase the resiliency or the survivability of structures that are located in areas know for getting hit with hurricanes regularly.