Inflatable / January 11, 2019 / Laetitia Beauchesne
Inflatables came very much into the public eye as architectural and domestic object when synthetic material became commonplace. Iconic structures like the US Pavillion on the 1970 Osaka Expo by Davis and Brody and Victor Lundys travelling pavillion for that Atomic Energy Commission popularized the idea that inflatables can be a way to build large structures with very extendend interior spans without pillars. These nice hopes for inflatable structures would later be dashed by the many practical difficulties faced by inflatable buildings such as climatization safety sensitivity to wind and fire proofing that currently restrict their use to very particular circumstances.
The planning dependence upon an indoor pocket of gas leads to a necessity for a really durable surface material and/or simple repair of tears and holes on the material since a puncture or tear will result within the escape of the gas inside (a leak) and also the deflation of the inflatable which depends upon the gass pressure to hold its form. Detectable leaks can be caused by holes (from punctures or tears) on the material the separating of seams the separating of valve components or an improperly close or improperly closing valve. Even if an inflatable possesses no macroscopic leaks the gas inside will usually diffuse out of the inflatable albeit at a much slower rate until equilibrium is reached while using pressure outside the inflatable.
But as with most things in life things change. In the last five years most U.S. "manufacturers" have thrown in the towel and are no longer making their own Inflatables. Theyre now importing China made Inflatables and passing them off as "Made in the U.S.A." In addition a new breed of internet phonies are posing as "manufacturers" and selling "China made Inflatables" or acting as a distributor for some other inflatable company importing from China. The fact of the matter is there are only a few manufacturers left that still build their entire product line of Inflatables right here in the good old U.S.A. Its more expensive but far superior in durability. And yes in spite of what you have been told there is a big difference in Safety Quality Craftsmanship.