Monolithic’s Pond Liners: A Quality Product

How do you keep water in a pond, canal or reservoir from seeping away? Or, how do you keep contaminants such as oil, industrial chemicals, even arsenic from seeping into the water? “Pond liners are the answer – provided they are made of quality material and manufactured and installed properly,” says David South, president of Monolithic. David points out that Monolithic Airforms, one of the company’s divisions, manufactures pond liners using reinforced PVC (polyvinyl chloride) geomembranes*, in virtually any size and thickness needed.

The Monolithic Pillow Tank

Now that the pillow tank is full of water, it can be used for a multitude of purposes.

Monolithic has been building products, such as pillow tanks, with architectural-grade fabrics for more than 20 years. To date we’ve built these tanks for ourselves but not for the public. Now we’re introducing two sizes: 1200 gallons and 450 gallons. But custom sizes can also be built to order. These tanks can hold anything from potable water to various caustic materials.

Strengthening a Large Creek Bank

The bank was rough and we did not intend to greatly change it. We smoothed a few spots. Our goal was bank stabilization – not a seemingly new bank that looked manufactured.

We received a call from a homeowner in Forreston, Texas. She wanted us to examine the creek bank in front of her house. The creek had seriously started to erode and her house was seriously getting closer to the creek. She was really worried about it falling into the creek if she lost a few more feet.

Cleaning our Monolithic Airform

The Ecker’s dome home before they began washing their Airform.

As my wife and I prepare for future exterior work on our Monolithic Dome, and to keep up with recommended Airform maintenance, it’s finally time to wash our Airform again.

Could Monolithic Airforms Play a Role in Containing BP Oil Spill?

Since April, British Petroleum has been trying to stem the flow of oil from a leaking deep-water well in the Gulf of Mexico. After a series of failed high-profile efforts, the company is currently trying to siphon off oil using a containment cap system and drilling relief wells aimed at stopping the flow by August. But with an estimated 60,000 barrels a day still gushing out of the well, the search is on for better solutions.

A Delightful New Product: The Monolithic Gazebo

The Monolithic Gazeedome — This dome-shaped, long-lasting, low maintenance gazebo was designed by Mike South, using EcoShell I technology.

Using EcoShell I technology, our Vice President and Operations Director, Mike South, recently designed a dome-shaped gazebo that has a 20-foot diameter, is not only quick and easy to build, but is long-lasting, low maintenance and very versatile.

Monolithic Permanent Fabric Water Tanks

A Monolithic Fabric Water Tank shown from above with fabric form in place and tank filled with water.

Is there an alternative to concrete or steel water tanks? Happily, there is and it’s a good one. Consider the Monolithic Fabric Water Tank. It consists of a heavy duty fabric liner that’s shaped like a giant hockey puck and fitted into a concrete revetment.

Exterior Window Treatments: A Primer

Side shapes and arch shapes

When designing your dome for residential or commercial use, it’s worth thinking through multiple construction possibilities early in your planning. Floor plans and fixtures might take up the bulk of your time, but an often overlooked issue is the dressing out of your exterior windows.

Considerations for Arched Window Bucks in Airform Augments

Side view of augment showing height difference of window buck — Left Image: Poor profile shape due to size of buck and interior air pressure.  Curves exaggerated for illustration.  The buck was made to fit a hypothetical window.
Right Image: Augment appears more square from the side view due to the increased height of the buck.  In this case the larger buck has been made to fit tight in the Airform augment just inside the window seaming.

So after all the back-slapping, hand-shaking and fan fair during the Airform inflation, you’re finally ready to get down to the business of interior construction. From inside, you’re admiring the eye-catching, organic shape of the inflated Airform and the ethereal translucence as the sunlight filters through fabric, when a contractor derails your train of thought.

Patching Airforms

A Tear in an Airform — This is an example a patch being glued onto a tear in an Airform. Cut the patch and prepare the area.

When dealing with something as “delicate” as an Airform (Airforms are as tough as a boot but because of their weight they seem delicate), rips and holes will happen. The best way to deal with these problems is to be prepared for them. This article reviews a few of the things you can do to fix such problems.

Measuring Seam Strength in a Monolithic Airform

RF welder in use — The super expensive automatic machine shown runs on a track 230 feet long.  It is called a radio frequency welder.  It is what welds the fabric together for the Airforms.

Plant Manager Donald Garrison puts Airform fabric to the test before any fabric is used to create a Monolithic Airform. Testing allows us to know the fabric’s ability to withstand tension, pressure and seam strength.

Low Pressure Air Forms

Many people want to do something – like build a dome – their way and hopefully improve on current technology. The problem is that the their/new way is usually an old way long ago discarded.

Bruco – A Very Busy Caterpillar

Makeover — In Summer 2001, Bruco got a makeover and now has a multi-colored coat to complement his flirty eyes, smiley mouth and glow-in-the-dark cowboy boots.

With its flirty eyes, smiley mouth and cowboy boots that glow in the dark, Bruco, our manufacturing plant in Italy, Texas, looks nothing like a typical factory. But while Bruco might look like a playful, giant caterpillar on the outside, it’s serious work on the inside.

Airform Dynamics

Complex Monolithic Dome designs push Airform technology to the limit. Airforms are very strong and function well, but in some cases, aesthetics present a problem.

Blistering – Taking Care of a Common Problem

Blistering on a Monolithic Dome is usually minimal because of the materials used. Nevertheless, at times blisters will occur. Each time the sun gets hot on that same spot, it increases the size of the blister as the vapors expand.

How to Attach an Airform

Preparing Ring Beam — Rebar is bent over so that the Airform can be slid over the rebar and attached to the footing.

The Airform is a highly engineered fabric structure that should be handled with great care. Many factors enter into its attachment to the concrete foundation.

OMEGAball

OMEGAball — “OMEGAball” stands for Oversized, Monolithic, Enormous, Gigantic, Airformed Ball.

It was 100 degrees outside on July 4th, 1980 in Menan, Idaho. The town was having a huge celebration complete with a flag-raising, sunrise breakfast, booths, games, parade, fireworks and a dance. Normally, at an occasion such as this, the kids would be running around competing in the three-legged race and bean-bag toss, and the adults would be relaxing under the big shade trees, but not this year. No, this year the adults were sweating and running under the sun the same as the kids. The adults were playing OMEGAball – a game no one can resist.

How to order an Airform for your Monolithic Dome

White 22oz Fabric — The Callisto, Italy, Texas

Airforms for Monolithic Domes are ordered by the square footage of the gross surface area, the number of augmentations, and patterning charges. Calculate the surface area of the Monolithic Dome to be constructed. Look up the square-foot cost in the appropriate table. Multiply the surface area times the cost per square foot.

Airform Handling and Repairs

A Monolithic Dome Airform — It’s a highly engineered fabric structure that must be handled with great care — especially while the Airform is being transported, spread, attached and inflated.

An Airform is a highly engineered fabric structure. Because of its expense, extreme care should be taken not to damage it. The most likely time to damage the Airform is while transporting it to the job site; spreading it; attaching it; and inflating it.

Airformed Culverts

Finished culvert — Once the concrete dries, simply slide the airform out to be used again and again.  The dirt can be backfilled in a few days, and you have a simple, permanent, culvert.

Monolithic’s Airform technology can be used to build culverts. What’s more, this technology produces quality products for less money.

Bridges, Culverts and Tunnels

Click here to read more about Bridges, Culverts and Tunnels built using the Monolithic Airform construction method.

Monolithic Methane Digester Cover Helps Recycle Waste Into Energy

Monolithic Airform — At our Airform factory in Italy, Texas, we design and manufacture Airforms for companies such as USFilter that incorporates the Airforms into its waste treatment systems.

Switzerland has a small one with a 37.75’ diameter. Chile has a large one with a 90.2’ diameter. And hundreds of others with various diameters serve in many installations throughout the U.S. We’re talking about Monolithic Airforms, manufactured for USFilter at Bruco, our Airform factory in Italy, Texas.

Surplus Airform

What a bargain! Monolithic does not often have surplus Airform that could be used to construct a Monolithic Dome or EcoShell. But when we do, it’s wise to see if one is available in a size that might work for you.

The Monolithic Airform

Monolithic’s construction process demands an Airform. It’s an integral part of every Monolithic Dome, Monolithic Cabin, EcoShell and Crenosphere. The Monolithic Airform is a balloonlike, inflatable structure that determines the shape and size of a dome. It’s made of PVC-coated nylon or polyester fabric, available in several weights and a rainbow of colors. Each Monolithic Airform is designed for a specific project and manufactured in Bruco, our 240′ × 60′ factory equipped with state-of-the-art machinery. At Bruco, Monolithic also designs and manufactures other specialty fabric structures, such as compost covers, grain covers, condensate ceilings, methane tank liners, water tank diaphragms and tension tarps.

Cleaning the Airform

The Airform — Over time, our not-so-clean environment makes washing the Airform a necessity.

At times it is appropriate to clean the Airform, before or after the building is completed. This may be necessary because of dirt accumulated during shipping or construction, or from our not-so-clean environment.

Monolithic Bridges

Each bridge section is independent and designed for full highway loads. Any number of sections can be used to create bridges for small to wide waterways. They can be like the old Roman viaducts.

Monolithic® Bridge technology represents an innovative solution that allows bridge construction to be stronger, longer lasting and more affordable. Historically, most bridges have been the domain of the standard, rectangular, steel or wooden form of construction. Unfortunately, these bridges have not withstood the test of time. Consequently, city and county governments are seeking affordable, yet permanent solutions for rebuilding these bridges using concrete. A Monolithic Bridge is just such a solution.

Monolithic Cut-and-Cover Tunnels

Monolithic Cut-and-Cover Conveyor Tunnel

Need an underground tunnel to move people, water, or stored material, such as grain, coal or fertilizer? Need sewer pipes or a protective housing for cables? Any and all of these needs can be filled with Monolithic Construction Technology. It uses an innovative, Airformed process to construct cut-and-cover underground tunnels that cost less but have many advantages not available in standard, rectangular, concrete tunnel construction.