Tornado Dampers

tornado damper

Tornado dampers are a specialized type of airflow control device designed to protect buildings and HVAC systems from damage caused by extreme weather events. As heavy-duty backdraft dampers, tornado dampers allow normal air intake and exhaust during typical conditions.

However, during a tornado or period of sudden pressure change, the dampers will rapidly close to prevent ductwork collapse and building damage. Once the extreme weather event has passed and pressures have equalized, the spring-loaded blades automatically reopen to restore normal airflow.

The primary purpose of installing tornado dampers is to safeguard ventilation systems and building infrastructure against the powerful destructive forces generated by tornadoes and intense storms.

With the proper damper models selected for the application, buildings can maintain normal ventilation during everyday conditions but remain protected against rapid pressure fluctuations.

By closing off ducts and vents when an exterior blast event occurs, the blast suppression damper protects assets and occupants inside from being impacted by high-intensity shock waves that could destroy equipment, collapse structures, and cause serious harm to people.

Table of Contents

Tornado dampers prevent ductwork collapse during tornadoes & extreme weather events involving sudden pressure changes.

Design & Construction

We have several models available. Common feature among them are:

  • Heavy-duty industrial backdraft dampers
  • Double-flanged channel frames – Sturdy frame construction
  • Single-thickness fabricated blades – Durable blades to withstand pressure
  • Spring-loaded blades – Allow dampers to reopen after closing

The robust and heavy-duty design of tornado dampers allows them to operate reliably under extreme weather conditions.

The combination of strong channel frames, durable blades, and spring-loaded action enables them to close quickly when needed to prevent ductwork collapse, and then reopen to restore normal airflow once dangerous conditions have passed.

Contact us now for a FAST quote

We are the official distributors of the top industrial damper manufacturers in the USA. As official representatives, we’ll be happy to help find the best tornado damper for your application.

Contact us for a quote or if you have any questions.

Application & Placement

Optimal placement involves locating them near the exterior to isolate the interior from rapid exterior pressure fluctuations. This strategic positioning allows them to safeguard buildings while permitting normal airflow under normal conditions.

  • Installation of ductwork near exterior walls or openings – Allows isolation of ductwork from extreme exterior pressures during tornadoes.
  • Wall mounting near exterior walls for buildings without ducts – Provides localized protection by closing off vents, openings, and gaps during pressure changes.
  • Positioning near exterior perimeter – Creates a barrier against destructive external forces from storms.
  • Strategic placement is critical for effective functioning – Must be installed correctly to work as part of the overall building protection system.


Velocity Up to 6400 fpm (32.5 m/s)
Pressure Up to 83 in. wg (20.7 kPa) (3 psi) – pressure differential
Temperature -40°F to 250°F (-40°C to 121°C).
Pressure Rise or Decrease 3 psi

Types of Industrial Dampers

Tornado Damper Manufactures

venco fans manufacturer

Venco Dampers

United Enertech Supplier, united enertech distributor

United Enertech

hartzell industrial fans

Hartzell Fans & Dampers

Contact a Pro to help find the best damper unit for your application

We are official distributors for the manufacturers listed below. As official representatives, we’ll be happy to help explain the best damper for your application. Contact us for a quote or any information regarding their products.

Providing Ventilation Equipment to the Following Industries
Providing Industrial Ventilation Products to the Greater Chicago area & WE Ship Nationwide

R. Williamson & Associates can provide you with fast quotes on the correct equipment for your application.

We are official representative covering Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana and we ship nationwide.

We can also send out a trained specialist to assess the area and make certain the proper unit is being used for your specific application. 

We run tests on-site to see how cost effective each model will be to assure maximum efficiency.

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