May 21

Special-Lite & UF Build Storm Simulator

“I will write great blog posts with consistency” – Take 121
“No really, this time I will!” – Take 113

I have been busy traveling about my territory meeting new people, adding new lines, learning about new products, and fitting in a little fun. Shame on me for not keeping you up to date on my adventures!

One event I had the pleasure of attending was totally awesome! I was invited to attend the demonstration of a massive storm simulator at the University of Florida on behalf of Special-Lite, a manufacturer of high end fiberglass doors that I have recently agreed to represent.

Henry Upjohn II, CEO & Chairman of Special-Lite, in collaboration with Dr. Forrest J. Masters, PH.D., P.E. at the University of Florida Civil & Coastal Engineering Department built a 24’ wide by 17’ tall storm simulator. The simulator was 4 years and $4 million in the making. Special-Lite accounted for three fourths of the $4 million cost. It is designed to test commercial & residential structures and can simulate an E4 tornado and Cat 5 hurricane. It has the capability to produce both positive and negative pressures.

Henry and other members of the Special-Lite team met Dr. Masters at the facility on May first for a demonstration presentation. First on the agenda was a welcome reception that included lunch and Dr. Masters providing an overview of how and why the simulator came to be. Their hope is that the simulator provides the missing piece for manufacturers, which they feel lies in the ability to visualize what is actually happening during a storm and how their product is affected. They hope this simulator inspires manufacturers to push boundaries and give them confidence to keep innovating.

We were then given a tour of the facilities and an actual demonstration of the simulator. Here are a few pictures and a couple of videos that I took during the event. Enjoy!

SafetyGear Windshields











Here is where I really failed you! I was filming the actual hurricane testing and had to put down my camera at the WRONG moment. I didn’t capture the exact moment this door buckled. I can tell you that I had a VERY GOOD reason! I hope considering the circumstances, which include an increase of wind and the fact that I was wearing a dress, you will forgive me!
Needless to say I was excited to attend! It was a great event and I felt honored to have shared in the presentation.

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