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.

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.

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.

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.

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.