Hail Testing

Hail Impact Testing

Hail is an extremely destructive force of nature, especially for aircraft, with impacts occurring at more than 600 mph. NTS performs hail and stone strike testing and high velocity hail strike testing. These tests can be performed using clear ice, stone and aluminum projectiles of up to two inches in diameter, fired at velocities of up to 741 miles per hour(331.4m/sec, 1087.4 f/sec). Typical test programs include aircraft windshields, antennas, radomes, and wheel/brake assemblies. Using a laser equipped system with a high degree of accuracy, repeatable impacts can be performed to within a quarter inch of the desired target. This accuracy allows NTS to test even the smallest of test samples, as well as limit the potential damage area of larger units.

In addition, testing can be performed at various temperatures. Certain specifications call for -20 degrees Celsius, however temperatures far below this requirement are also attainable at NTS. Failure and fracture analysis, as well as high speed video recording allows you to fully evaluate the performance of your product.

Industry Applications

Hail testing is an important part of an overall environmental testing program for QA and regulatory purposes. While any product that’s exposed to the elements should be hail tested to some extent, the process is especially important for maintaining compliance with the following regulatory standards:

  • ASTM F320, which details acceptable hail impact testing standards for windshields used in aerospace applications
     
  • ASTM E822, which outlines hail testing guidelines for solar collector covers and other ground-based commercial equipment
     
  • ASTM E1038, which covers hail testing requirements for photovoltaic cells
     
  • FM 4470 and 4473, which outlines standards for hail resistance of roofing materials

To provide hail testing to these standards, NTS engineers mount your component to a customized fixture. This allows us to adjust the impact angle to simulate different types of hail conditions and ensure your product delivers consistent resistance in any situation. We use sophisticated monitoring and data-collection tools, including high-speed cameras, to measure hail pellet impacts and accurately assess the damage caused at different speeds.

Our engineers have considerable experience designing custom hail testing protocol to meet the needs of a diverse range of components. Let us assess your project’s requirements and provide a free quote for hail impact testing and certification management.

Commercial Hail Testing

Hail has been estimated to cause over $1 billion in damages to outdoor structures and equipment each year. As one of the most common and potentially damaging environmental forces, hail testing should be made part of the QA process for any product used outdoors, regardless of your regulatory obligations. Hail testing can be an important selling point for customers looking for a durable, resilient product that can stand up to any condition. A one-time investment in hail product testing not only results in a more marketable end product, it can also help you set warranty conditions and avoid potential liability issues.

Hail is just one of the many environmental factors we can simulate at NTS. We also provide wind and rain, salt fog, solar radiation, temperature/humidity and other tests. Environmental testing early in the product development cycle can get your item to market faster and help you avoid costly last-minute design changes.

Please contact NTS for more information about our hail impact testing servicesor to request a quote for a full program of environmental simulation and analysis.