Trajectories of wind-borne debris in horizontal winds and applications to impact testing

Ning Lin, John D. Holmes, Chris W. Letchford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


This paper considers the trajectories of compact and rod-type wind-borne debris in horizontal winds, using a combination of experimental and numerical studies. These types are representative of the roof gravel and timber members currently used for testing building facades and storm shutters. These studies indicate that the ratio of horizontal debris speed to wind gust speed is primarily a function of the horizontal distance traveled by the debris as it accelerates toward the wind speed. Empirical expressions to approximate the horizontal speed of these debris as a function of travel distance and time are developed, and may be used to establish rational debris impact criteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-282
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Damage
  • Debris
  • Hurricanes
  • Numerical analysis
  • Wind tunnels


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