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HJ3’s Carbon Fiber Rules in Smash Lab’s ‘Hurricane Proof House’ Tests


TUCSON (Jan. 24, 2008) -- Smash Lab’s team of maverick engineers have taken on a Tucson company’s new technology, wrapping a mobile home in carbon fiber and then trying their darndest to blow it up, blow it down and rip it apart.

“We had a great time with the Smash Lab team and were glad to see our work hold up under their barrage of tests,” said Jim Butler, HJ3 president. “It was really entertaining, and the underlying science shows how HJ3 can help save lives and prevent the destruction of property in all kinds of extreme conditions.”

The Discovery Channel began airing the Smash Lab segment “Hurricane Proof House” on HJ3’s crush-defying technology Wednesday. Tucsonans can watch the one-hour-long episode over the next few days beginning at 8 p.m., Sat. Jan 26; 8 a.m., Sun. Jan. 27 and 7 p.m., Mon., Jan. 28. The full schedule can be found at or you can watch the entire broadcast using the website’s episode player.

In addition to Smash Lab’s recent attempt at demolition, the HJ3 product qualified for Department of Defense and Army Corp of Engineer jobs after withstanding a 212-pound bomb blast at the New Mexico Tech Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center in Socorro.
HJ3 Composite Technologies
HJ3 Composite Technologies invents state of the art composite technology that strengthens infrastructure and can reinforce buildings to survive bomb blasts, stand up to hurricanes and earthquakes or simply keep from crumbling from age. HJ3 specializes in structural reinforcements using carbon fiber and a unique polymer which allows the enormous strength of the carbon fiber to transfer to the existing structure. HJ3’s carbon fiber composite is made to provide up to ten times the strength of steel in a package that weighs less than 4 oz. per square foot and is only 1/16th – inch thick. Headquartered in Tucson, HJ3’s office at 4100 S. Fremont Ave., is a south side company leader in Tucson’s high-tech future. The firm is founded by Jim Butler, an MBA graduate from the Eller College of Business – McGuire Entrepreneurship Program, and John Nighswander, an associate director of the Eller Entrepreneurship Program. More information is available at their website at
Smash Lab
The next generation in destruction instruction, Smash Lab features a team of unconventional engineers as they take on everyday technology and apply it in revolutionary new ways. First they break down the technology to see how it works and then use their know-how to see how it could be used in a different, supersized way. Could bulletproof Kevlar protect an airliner from bombs? Could a car airbag be reinvented to stop a helicopter from sinking after ditching at sea? The Smash Lab team aims to find out.
Filmed at their Crash Lab in California, the team puts their ambitious plans to the test and captures them from every camera angle imaginable. Smash Lab is a visual feast of fireballs, explosions, crashes, collapses, collisions and impacts, because sometimes destruction is good for you. More about Smash Lab is at
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