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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.