When most people think of inflatable structures, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a colourful bouncy castle which the kids jump around on at a birthday party.
However there are more serious, and practical, applications of inflatable structures. Today inflatable buildings are used in a wide variety of industries, due in part to their versatility, their ease of use and also their ability to withstand diverse weather conditions.
Inflatable tents have numerous applications within the likes of the military, construction industry, engineering and architectural sectors, aerospace and, of course, emergency and rescue operations. Uses include emergency hospitals, portable shelters, temporary walls and even furnace inspection safety mats or platforms.
Relief organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have been using inflatable field hospitals for several years now. According to MSF, they enable the organisation to react quickly in the event of a disaster and help doctors treat a large number of people under hygienic conditions in places and situations where such hygiene is difficult to achieve.
An inflatable hospital can be erected in 48 hours, and after the emergency it can be easily re-used for other medical services with just a few simple alterations.
Simple in design, inflatable buildings have many advantages over more permanent structures. They are easy to erect and dismantle, take up little room when in transit, are relatively light to transport and require few, if any, mechanical parts. This makes them ideal for the likes of the military or emergency services, who are moving from place to place, often at little notice.
In addition, for those businesses or groups concerned with preserving their green credentials, they offer an environmentally-friendly production process as well as low energy blowers and fans.
Other Temporary Structures
Another type of temporary structure with many different applications is fabric architecture. Tensile structures often have a Fabric Roof which can add a beautiful finishing touch to any building and this can combine flexibility with strength, innovative design with ease of use.
Whichever type of temporary structure you are looking for some businesses like spatialstructures specialise in this area and will give you unique advice to sit you., bear in mind the importance of choosing the right one for your needs. For example, does it need to have certain weather-resistant properties, how strong does it have to be and will it be subject to UV degradation?
There is no doubt about it, inflatable and other temporary structures are here to stay.