A first of its kind indoor hail test was conducted Wednesday morning at the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety in Chester County. With hundreds of media members on hand, a specially constructed house was slowly turned on its axis and pelted with nearly 9,000 individual chunks of ice. A number of recipes were tested as researchers tried to simulate, at closely as possible, actual hail. The final product was made of 80 percent seltzer water and 20 percent tap water and launched from compressed air cannons.
Dents and divots were visible on the roof and siding. A car that was parked inside the facility got the worst of it, though, with the windshield sustaining a large crack.
The purpose of the demonstration was to test new building materials and building techniques. Hail does more than $1 billion in damage annually in the United States.