HiTech LoTech – Hurricane Strength Nails

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Our lovely model above appears to be boarding up her cabana in preparation for the next hurricane.

Nails, as inventions go, have a legacy back to before the time of Christ. And after two milliennia, they are still pretty much the same; a piece of iron wire with a wider top to be driven into two pieces of wood to hold it together.

Sure there’s been improvements in steel, in manufacturing, and in making better hammers, but the nail itself hasn’t really changed much.

So its with a surprise that I read in Popular Science that a new nail became one of the ineventions lauded in 2006. Popular Science is naming its Best of What’s New.

It’s not your average nail though, the HurriQuake nail spent six years in development. Its designed to help building withstand hurricane force winds (over 71MPH) and earthquakes that rock wood structures apart. I expect our own local best hardware store, Colliers, to start carrying this sometime soon…I mean they HAVE to, they have EVERYTHING.

From the article:
“As the Bostitch team tweaked the head-to-shank ratio, Sutt and metallurgist Tom Stall worked on optimizing high-carbon alloys, trying to find the highest-strength trade-off between stiffness and pliability — the key to preventing snapped nails. ‘Meanwhile,’ Sutt says, ‘we were focusing on how to keep the nail from pulling out.’ The team machined a series of barbed rings that extend up the nail’s shaft from its point, experimenting with the size and placement of the barbs. ‘You want the rings to have maximum holding power,’ he says, ‘but if they go up too high, it creates a more brittle shank that shears more easily.'”

Now if they can just invent the thumb-proof hammer, we’ll really have something.

I guess you could file this invention under “global warming” as the company references the recent increased frequency of hurricanes as an impetus to the invention. Personally I think the linkage between global warming and hurricanes doesn’t wash, as do many hurricane experts like Dr Neil Frank, former director of the National Hurricane Center and Dr. William Gray, a world renowned predictor of hurricanes. The 2006 hurricane season ends December 1st, and so far this year has been an.. er. wash out in big hurricanes with only 7 in the Atlantic, compared to 2005’s hurricane season with 7 major storms, including hurricane Katrina. Katrina became the media poster child for the global warming to hurricane link, among other things.

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One Response to HiTech LoTech – Hurricane Strength Nails

  1. Dave Brobst says:

    Today, you win the “best picture at the top of your blog entry” prize. Try as I might, I could not give the award to a toilet with a face on it over at Lon’s blog.

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