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Our Senior Design group has been commissioned by a major pet door distributor, Pet Doors USA, to create a working prototype of a hurricane rated pet door. The main goal of this project is to meet specifications set out for us by our sponsor which include; making the door accessible to a 25-100 lb dog and meeting DP50 Hurricane Code. The final design is a rotating door that utilizes a worm gear and worm screw that turn a shaft to which the door is attached. A polycarbonate front panel is used due to its strength and impact resistance. The automation is accomplished with the use of RFID tags and sensors. The pet wears an RFID tag and when it comes in range of the sensors it signals the door to open.
The final tests to be performed on the door included the water infiltration test, the final impact test, and the pressure/deflection test. For the water infiltration test, cobalt chloride paper was used to determine whether any moisture came through the door after spraying it with a hose. During the test, water began to infiltrate the corner of the door where the individual pieces of the weather-stripping meet and allow for a small crack. The pressure test setup was to place the door horizontally and place a box full of sand directly above the door. This test was successful with no permanent deflection or perceived dam- age to the pet door. For the impact test, a rack of weights with a 2x4 attached to it was dropped onto the door panel. The panel withstood the impact with no signs of cracks, indentions, or any other damage.
When the door was tested for functionality, it was discovered that the power generated by the controller is insufficient to open the door. However, by attaching the motor to an external power source, the door was able to open easily. Thus, both the mechanical and electrical assemblies work independently but in order to merge them there needs to be more time and effort devoted to this project. Aside from this, the project can be considered a success in that all failures have been identified and a minimal amount of additional work is needed to create a working prototype that can pass all the required tests.
Rose, Derek; Farrell, Jennifer; Baer, Chris; Estrada, Michael; and Taubenfeld, Weston, "Hurricane Rated Pet Door Final Design Report" (2009). Engineering Senior Design Reports. 21.