ShadeFX Canopies Take on High Winds of Hurricane Sandy

I received an e-mail the other day that swelled my chest with pride. It read:

I must tell you that my ShadeFX Canopy (and) I have survived Hurricane Sandy without a scratch. We live in Seaside Heights, NJ where it was most powerful also.

Debbie N., Seaside Heights , NJ

There is a real satisfaction to making a product that is strong and durable and one that you know will stand the ravages of outdoor operation. But an e-mail like this takes that satisfaction to a whole new level: Take That Hurricane Sandy!

Now, how we got to be so arrogant in the face of nature is a story unto itself, and one I will share with you here.

During the inception of the ShadeFX canopies’ single track design, we knew we wanted to suspend the canopy from the middle for easy installation, proper shedding of water, etc. However that creates a risk of the canopy falling down if the wings break away from the track. We set about testing a number of attachment methods and settled on what we have now which takes 680 lbs. to break one wing away from one track slider. To this day we have never had a wing break away from the track.

The other area of design strength was the aluminum profiles themselves. The drive beam was easy. We made it way stronger than necessary (aka over engineered) so it spans up to 10’ unsupported if desired.  The wings were a more delicate balance between strength, weight, and cost. We ended up with the 1X1 profile we have now but with the addition of the metallurgical trick of tempering to provide additional strength and spring resilience.

It should be clear that the canopy in New Jersey was retracted during the storm. However the wind tests were set up for the canopy when extended and retracted. We chose to video the extended ones because they are more interesting to watch and more indicative of the strength of our system.

We hope your canopy never has to suffer the ravages of a hurricane. But if it does, it’s nice to know ShadeFX has a fighting chance!