OSU Scale Models Effective At Predicting Storm Damage

Experiments on scale model buildings in the Directional Wave Basin at the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory have shown that these models can be used to predict structural damages caused by hurricanes and other coastal storms. 

An OSU College of Engineering study, led by graduate research assistant Sean Duncan, consisted of building two one-sixth scale models of houses like those damaged in Hurricanes Sandy and Ike. 

The models were built to mimic these houses in strength and stiffness, in order to see if the water damage they sustained would be similar to that of the full-sized houses. 

As sea levels rise and hurricanes grow more destructive due to climate change, research like this is critical to determining ways to make new houses as safe as possible. 

“Populations in those types of communities are rising, and so are sea levels,” said Duncan. “That’s why it’s so important to understand the forces these storms generate and how coastal structures respond, so planners and the construction industry can work together to mitigate the potential damage from these very likely, very potent storms.”

By Jalen Todd