This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Design of Protective Covers Against Natural Hazards




Quinones, Vladimir

Type of Degree



Polymer and Fiber Engineering


The purpose of this project is to design a protective cover against natural hazards for aircraft, vehicles, and ground structures. Protection against natural hazards is necessary for maintaining the integrity of a vehicle or aircraft. Some of the most commonly encountered natural hazards include exposure to sun (UV light), heat, and hailstones. The design of a protective cover against such natural hazards for aircraft, land vehicles, and structures was studied in this thesis. The objective of this research was the creation of a polymer-fabric based flexible structure designed to protect aircraft, ground vehicles, and housing and storage structures in a wide range of naturally challenging or hostile environments from impact damage, thermal damage, and ice loading damage. The protective cover was designed and evaluated using different methods for their physical characteristics. For this purpose, individual tests were performed to evaluate the best material for each layer; the mentioned tests were: area density, abrasion, friction, folding, UV resistance, impact resistance, tear resistance, bursting strength, static charge resistance, flame resistance, air permeability and hail impact simulation. The consolidated composite was assessed in a test chamber simulating real hail stones. The ice projectiles that were used had different constructions and diameters. Information, such as velocity, peak force and displacement was collected using a high speed camera, dynamic force transducer, and a laser displacement transducer. Results of this experiment revealed that the material is suitable against hailstone impact for hailstones up to 1.6 inches in diameter, which are more common than 2 inch diameters. Resistance to impact is most critical for protection during hail storms, and therefore, we set out to develop an impact resistant covering against hail stones up to 2 inches in diameter. Future work should be performed using additional layers utilizing high strength ballistic grade yarns such as Kevlar® or ballistic nylon.