Feeling chilly? It’s that time of year again when the mercury drops to points that you’d forgotten existed, and you do your best to stay in the warm indoors for as long as possible. Air domes, like any indoor facility, are best when they offer a nice warm environment to play in.
Raising the temperature is easy enough with the use of heaters, but keeping the heat in is another matter. Air domes lacks something that many structures take for granted: thick heavy walls. While they do take a long time to build, thick brick and concrete walls do have the advantage over fabric walls when it comes to keeping in the heat.
Luckily, there is a solution for air domes. Insulation. No, not that fluffy pink stuff you put in the walls of your house—air dome insulation is a bit more unique. Air dome insulation needs to be light enough that it can be held up with the force of air that holds up the walls and thin enough that it will fit in between the layers of fabric that make up the dome walls.
So what can we use to insulate a bubble for the winter?
To solve the unique needs of insulating an air dome, The Farley Group uses something called double layer reflective insulation. Manufactured by a company called rFOIL, the reflective insulation is light, thin, and significantly reduces the energy needs required to heat an area as large as that of an air dome sports facility.
rFoil Reflective Insulation appears simple enough. It’s made up of two layers of polyethylene bubbles, sandwiched between two layers of aluminum.
It works by reducing the amount of radiant heat transfer. The reflective aluminum surface essentially bounces the heat back into the dome. For a description of radiant heat, have a look at an older blog that we wrote that explains the science behind radiant heat transfer.
Other key benefits of rFOIL Reflective insulation, besides it’s insulation value, are:
- It is unaffected by moisture. Condensation that forms on the surface is controlled and doesn’t weigh down the sheets or grow mold
- It serves as a radiant barrier, as well as a vaper barrier. One product to do it all.
- It’s available in different formats for multiple different uses.
Pretty cool stuff.
You might be wondering, “Well that’s awesome for domes, but what else can reflective insulation do?” The answer is, plenty! Other uses for rFOIL’s product include: crawlspaces, basement insulation, residential insulation, and cathedral ceilings. Anywhere that a light, moisture resistant, easy-to-use insulation solution is needed, it may be a good fit.
To learn more about insulating your air supported dome, or for more info on reflective insulation, call The Farley Group! We’re ready to help keep the cold out of your dome.