Insulating an Air Structure: How Bubbles Keep a Bubble Warm
Your teeth are chattering from the cold or you’re busy wiping sweat from your forehead because of the heat. These are the last things you want to focus on when you’re enjoying a game of soccer with friends or honing your skills during practice. It’s never more important to have a climate controlled environment than during sport, whether it’s outside or in an inflatable sports dome.
Because maintaining the right environment is so important, this blog article is all about dome insulation.
Before we go any further, be sure to read up on our two-part series “Dome Science: How Domes Stay Warm” to understand the science behind keeping domes properly climate controlled.
Reflective foil, double-bubble insulation is an effective way to keep a dome warm.
The insulation that you might find in a building or a house wouldn’t work for a dome because it’s bulky. Your house likely has fibreglass insulation, which is that pink, squishy stuff behind your drywall. This works great in a house, but dome walls are huge, and the more weight and bulk that you add, the more energy and air pressure will be needed to hold them up. Foil insulation is light, and thin. Exactly what a dome needs.
The aluminum layer bounces back radiant heat and redirects it back towards its source. This works just like a mirror to reflect radiant heat energy back into the dome.
The bubble layers add an extra layer of air to prevent the transfer of heat through the insulation. This layer may be small, but it results in a noticeably warmer dome. You can see a measureable difference on the heating bills as well!
Dome insulation can be added to most domes, even if a dome was setup without the intention of ever being insulated. This is because air structure insulation is installed after the dome has been set up and inflated.
Installing the insulation is a relatively simple process, but to do it right, it’s best to bring in the experts.
The insulation layer needs to sit in between the inner and outer layers of dome fabric. The sheets of insulation are fed through the wall, in one long continuous strip. This is repeated all along the length of the dome until the entire dome has been covered.
A great amount of care needs to be taken with this process, because the insulation itself can be a little fragile. After all, it is essentially aluminum foil and bubble wrap. This is another reason why it needs to sit within the layers of dome fabric: protection. Dome fabric is tough stuff, so why not use it to protect something that’s fragile?
Looking to cut down those heating bills for your dome? Insulating might be the best option. Get in touch with The Farley Group to find out whether insulating your bubble for the winter is your best choice.