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Flexible and economical, air-supported structures fill multiple market niches
Home>> News >> Flexible and economical, air-supported structures fill multiple market niches
Flexible and economical, air-supported structures fill multiple market niches
2013-3-13 23:52:58

When it comes to inflatable products, many people think of bouncy castles, parade floats or dancing tubes used for advertising. But the world of air-supported structures, or inflatable, extends far beyond the use of entertainment and advertising to industrial, military, architectural and aerospace applications.

Whether they’re used as a portable shelter or a payload landing on Mars, air-supported structures offer numerous benefits over traditionally built alternatives. “Typically, inflatables are a more elegant engineering solution because they are simple by design,” says Thad Fredrickson, manager of materials development for ILC Dover in Frederica, Del. “In addition, they require fewer mechanical parts, and they pack tightly and take up very little volume.”

Inflatables provide some eco-friendly benefits as well. “In today’s world when energy and its conservation are in the forefront of development, inflatables offer a low-energy production alternative to comparative products,” says David Abramowitch, managing director of 1300Inflate, a division ofGiant Inflatables in Braeside, Victoria, Australia. “This advantage is growing by the use of recyclable fabrics, water-based coatings and low-energy fans and blowers.”