Tornado-Tough Shelters from Recycled Materials

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With Hurricane Isaac making landfall (and memories of Katrina), news of super sturdy shelter panels from recycled materials is rather apropos. Researchers at the University of Alabama-Birmingham have developed panels that can withstand a pummeling of 15-pound two-by-fours shot from a cannon. The boards struck the panels at 100 mph, which is about the strength that an EF5 tornado can hurl shrapnel; hurricane threat standards are lower.

These resilient panels are a combo of thermoplastic and fiberglass resins that were fashioned from liner previously used to wrap offshore oil-rig pipes.

Source: University of Alabama Birmingham
Image: Todd Shoemake via Shutterstock

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