Natural Hazards

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 133–153 | Cite as

Probabilistic modelling of forces of hail

  • Shihara Perera
  • Nelson Lam
  • Mahil Pathirana
  • Lihai Zhang
  • Dong Ruan
  • Emad Gad
Original Paper


Numerical modelling techniques enable forcing function at the point of contact in a hail impact to be predicted, but many models available in commercial software have not been verified by experiments. A recently developed deterministic model is only able to simulate the impact action of an idealised spherical hailstone. Results recorded from the impact testing of non-spherical simulated hail ice specimens show wide scatters and are different to spherical specimens. A stochastic model has been developed in this study to incorporate the variability of the modelling parameters representing the behaviour of non-spherical ice specimens and to generate time histories of contact force for given impact scenarios. A probabilistic model which was developed previously to provide predictions of the distribution of the size of hailstones in a severe category hailstorm has also been further developed to provide predictions of the maximum contact force values in probabilistic terms. For any given pre-defined forcing function denting into the surface of a steel plate can be estimated by finite element analysis or experimentally on a test machine. The new knowledge base introduced in this paper can be used by manufacturers and designers to re-assess existing products and in making improvements to future installations taking into account cost–benefit considerations.


Hailstone Contact force Forcing function Probabilistic Deterministic 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Infrastructure EngineeringThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of Science, Engineering and TechnologySwinburne University of TechnologyHawthornAustralia

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