DuPont today opened its first storm shelter testing center at its Chestnut Run site here. The multi-million dollar facility will allow the company to test different materials for its DuPont™ StormRoom™ with Kevlar®. DuPont also will use the site to develop new technologies that will further help protect people and property during dangerous storms.
“Historically, April kicks off tornado season in the United States, but already this year we’ve seen the incredible destruction these storms can cause, including a hit on a major urban area, Atlanta, which dispels the myth that tornadoes don’t target big cities,” said Thomas F. Schuler, vice president and general manager -- DuPont Building Innovations. “This test facility, our first at a DuPont site, will allow us to test new materials for storm protection and to make the StormRoom™ stronger and more cost-effective for consumers and building owners.”
Yesterday DuPont announced an agreement with national builder Epcon Communities to offer the DuPont™ StormRoom™ with Kevlar® to its 138 builder franchisees – the first agreement to offer a storm shelter nationally.
DuPont estimates that 90 percent of its patent-pending storm shelters are now in use in rural and suburban communities, with 10 percent installed in cities. Initially, sales for the StormRoom™ with Kevlar® were focused on Tornado Alley, the eight states where most tornadoes strike during the year. DuPont has found, however, that many other parts of the United States, including coastal areas where hurricanes and other wind-based storms can wreak havoc, need the safety and security provided by the StormRoom™. DuPont has seen a 300 percent increase in sales in states outside Tornado Alley.
The DuPont ™ StormRoom™, the only storm shelter with the strength of DuPont™ Kevlar®, provides protection from tornadoes and hurricanes. Flying debris continues to be the No. 1 cause of injury in severe storms and can turn branches into deadly projectiles. Tornadoes can provide consistent winds up to 250 miles per hour (mph) – much higher than some hurricanes. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), most of the country is exposed to winds that can range from 130 mph to 250 mph.
According to DuPont research, consumers are increasingly focused on home safety and the need for functionality in a storm shelter. The DuPont™ StormRoom™ allows for electricity and plumbing installation, as well as cell phone and radio reception, so its occupants can monitor news and weather information. When not in use, the StormRoom™ can double as an extra room, storage space or powder room, providing year-round utility.
The DuPont™ StormRoom™ with Kevlar® is the only shelter that can be installed in existing as well as new homes, above ground or in basements, and is completely transportable using authorized installers. It is designed to withstand the impact of a 2' x 4' timber propelled at 100 mph – the speed at which the timber would travel in the strongest tornado, which generates wind gusts of up to 250 mph. The StormRoom™ also is crush-resistant and engineered to support a uniformly distributed weight of more than 70,000 pounds, the weight of a fully loaded tractor trailer. Based on DuPont comparison data, the company believes the StormRoom™ to be the strongest and most durable of all the storm shelters available today.
DuPont manufactures and markets multiple products for residential and commercial construction that provide high-performance weather and climate protection for buildings and their occupants, and sustainable energy management systems. In addition to the DuPont™ StormRoom™ with Kevlar®, these products include: DuPont™ SentryGlas®; DuPont™ Corian® and Zodiaq® solid surfaces and Granite Certified by DuPont™; DuPont™ RoofLiner with Elvaloy®; DuPont™ Tyvek® Weather Barrier Systems including Tyvek® AtticWrap™, the first breathable roofing membrane to create an airtight attic, and Tyvek® ThermaWrap™, which helps reduce energy costs and increase comfort by improving the reflection of radiant energy in wall systems. DuPont also manufactures Tyvek® Weatherization Systems, including DuPont™ Tyvek® CommercialWrap™ and DuPont™ Tyvek® DrainWrap™.
The StormRoom™ with Kevlar® is offered by DuPont Building Innovations, one of five business units in the DuPont Safety & Protection segment. The other businesses are DuPont Advanced Fiber Systems, DuPont Nonwovens, DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise and DuPont Safety Resources. The segment provides innovative products and services that protect people, buildings, critical processes and the environment. In 2007, the segment’s revenues totaled $5.6 billion.
DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.