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Hail No!

Protects car from hailstorms
  [vote for,

I live in Texas, where hail the size of golfballs (and larger) is a common spring occurrence. If you have a garage, your car is safe, but if you live in an apartment or a condo with no garage, your automobile (or pickup truck) is at constant risk of being pockmarked with these destructive little forces of nature. My idea is a series of interconnected very thick foam pads that you can drape over your car to protect it from hail. The foam would have to be the really dense stuff, like you cartwheeled on in gym class--so thick or dense that you really almost can't compress it with your hand. I envision a series of panels interconnected by seams (the foam would be encased in indestructable plastic). To use "Hail No!" you would unfold these connected panels down over your car. You'd have one panel over the roof, two panels down across the front and rear windshields, and 2 panels covering the hood and trunk. More panels would drop down vertically to protect the sides (what--you don't have sideways-traveling rain and hail where you live? Boy, that must be nice.) You would affix the panels to your car with bungee cords (the ends of the panels would have some reinforced holes drilled in them for attaching the bungees). This auto accessory would afford at least some protection against hailstorms. After the storm is over, you fold the panels up (the seams would allow you to stack the panels on top of each other), roll the whole thing up in a column, and secure with the bungees until the next time Mother Nature gets pissed off. The name "Hail No!" is self-explanatory, although in Texas, "hail" is really a two-syllable word (Hi-yull). Additional thoughts--get help with production costs by selling the panel space to advertisers. Or imprint the panels with an automaker's logo, and sell them to the dealerships.
Techno, Oct 18 2003

Sorbothane http://www.sorbotha...PDF/sor_matprop.pdf
[Klaatu, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

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       You'll need careful timing to get this installed -- like after the storm warning and before the tornado. But if you make sure to install this every time, just in case, it could eventually pay off.   

       Welcome to the halfbakery!
Amos Kito, Oct 18 2003

       I changed it to the Car category. I thought I had it there initially, but must have bungled that somehow.
Techno, Oct 18 2003

       Thank you for the welcome! And yes, we usually get sufficient warning of hail. That's because it starts up west of Fort Worth, or north of Dallas, and then moves through the city. And for those of you inexperienced in the thrill park ride called a Texas Tornady, there's some warning of that also. Here's what happens: first, the rain, wind, hail, thunder and lightening. Then that stops, and the sun comes out right away--but the sky and air look a peculiar greenish color. You look up and see dark clouds roiling around like a sack of puppies. That's your signal to grab Toto, bend over, and kiss your butt bye-bye!
Techno, Oct 18 2003

       Personally I can't say I have seen a sack of puppies, but I'll take your word for it.

Make sure you include a warning on the side of the Hail No! : "Warning! It is advisable to remove the Hail No! before a journey"
silverstormer, Oct 18 2003

       Silverstormer, you reminded me of the "sunshield" thingies you put on the inside of your windshield (when parked, of course) to prevent the sun from baking your dash and steering wheel. On the side facing the driver, there is a warning: "Please remove this shield before operating car." DUH! This makes you wonder how many idiots out there tried to drive their cars with the shield in place, making it impossible for them to see the road. What is the human race coming to, except a general IQ of 51?
Techno, Oct 18 2003

       Shift, yeah, that's a good description of the sort of shock-resistant material I was imagining. The "inflatable car cover" does look a little silly. Also, I suppose there's a warning on it: "Warning! Vent exhaust into the inflatable car cover, and not into your mouth!!" (see post above about general IQ).   

       I think if, as the inflatable car cover web site says, you live in a place with constantly falling branches, stones, acorns, etc, protecting your auto paint job is the least of your problems.
Techno, Oct 18 2003

       UnaBubba, we've had softball-sized hail twice in the last 6 or 7 years. I've heard that it is amazingly painful to be out in it. Ha.   

       After that hail, your car is undrivable because the windshield is in tiny pieces on the seat of the car. Another amazingly painful situation.   

       Loved the cloud site. Gallery Six, picture in row 7, the one on the far right--that's pretty close to the "roiling puppies" look.
Techno, Oct 18 2003

       This is very weird. A couple of guys and I have had this idea for a couple of months, and were thinking of starting to work on it, in appriciation of the upcoming hail season.   

       Funny part is we also live in the Fort Worth Area. Care to join forces?
azmatsci, Dec 23 2003

       Make it out of Sorbothane and it could even withstand Tex-ass hail. <link>
Klaatu, Dec 23 2003

       In Southern Alberta we get fair sized hail too, most people throw, puffy sleeping bags over their cars to protect them.   

       to protect your car, I think all you need is something to disperse the force over a wider area, similar to the theory behind Kevlar.....
SystemAdmin, Dec 23 2003

       //I've heard that it is amazingly painful to be out in it. Ha. // I have seen a softball sized hail stone snap a guys arm in half. A clean break in both bones. Then the poor guy dropped the plywood he was holding on his foot.
babyhawk, Dec 24 2003


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