Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



The research presented in this thesis focused on the derivation of experimental fragility curves for windborne debris (WBD) impact risk assessment of building envelope components (BECs) with ductile behavior (in particular, aluminum storm panels) within the performance-based hurricane engineering (PBHE) framework. Using a pneumatic wind cannon, rod-type WBDs were fired at aluminum storm panels to represent real-life WBD impact hazard. The experimental data from testing were used to derive the probability of failure relative to specific damage measures (DMs) versus its corresponding interaction parameter (IP). These experimentally derived probabilities were compared with results that are available in the literature and were obtained from finite element (FE) analyses. It was found that: (1) the impact kinetic energy of rod-type missiles is a sufficient IP for BECs with ductile behavior subjected to WBD impact; (2) the performance of aluminum storm panels (particularly in terms of probability of penetration) is strongly dependent on the details of the panels’ installation; (3) the numerical results available in the literature regarding the fragility curves of BECs with ductile behavior are qualitatively representative of the behavior of aluminum storm panels subject to WBD impact; and (4) careful modeling of the actual mechanical behavior of the panel’s boundary conditions is necessary for accurate numerical evaluation of the fragility curves of BECs with ductile behavior. It is noteworthy that accurate fragility curves are essential in the development of a general probabilistic performance-based engineering framework for mitigation of WBD impact hazard.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Barbato, Michele