Case story

Revolutionizing Portable Structures with Air Core Composite™ Technology

Camarillo, USA

Inflatable Composites is revolutionizing portable structures using Air Core Composite™ technology. Using Air Core Composite™, they’ve increased their inflatable paddle boards’ strength to perform like hard boards, yet retained the ability to make them easy to roll up and store.

Air Core Composite™ is a patented carbon fiber reinforced laminate using Toray’s continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite (CFRT®) Cetex® TC940 (PET) as a base material. The laminate can be thermally bonded to polymer-coated inflatable membranes and is customizable by optimizing the lay-up schedule for stress or load requirements for any deployable, portable structure. The laminate’s enhanced rigidity offers dramatically improved performance, stowed package size reduction, faster deployability, and the ability to add structural attachment points.

Air Core Composite™ structures have the following benefits:

  • Lightweight
  • Collapsible
  • Portable
  • Modular with structural attachment points
  • Structural: high strength-to-weight ratio
  • Rapidly deployable
  • Extremely durable
  • Excellent thermal barrier
  • Corrosion, abrasion, puncture, and impact resistant

Air Core Composite™ Commercial Industry Applications

  • Aerospace
    • Deployable space habitats, air beam structures, deployable transportation containers, temporary deployable walls, and thermal and acoustic barriers
  • Building and Construction
    • Air beams, modular and temporary walls, concrete forms, barriers, and thermal and sound protection
  • Emergency response
    • Stretchers, blast screens, rapidly deployable floodgates and flood barriers, buoyancy rescue craft, and emergency housing
  • Military
    • Deployable tents and walls, modular walkways and bridges, temporary and modular housing, vehicle canopies, deployable antenna, isolation pallets, transportation containers, and extension booms and towers
  • Marine
    • Boat hulls and decks, platforms, floating docks, and life rafts
  • Oil and Gas
    • Containment booms and decking
  • Recreation
    • Paddleboards and surfboards, docks, and floating waterparks
  • Transportation
    • Portable loading docks and bays, containers and reusable protective packaging, structural pallets, decking, and raised loading platforms 

Geometry Configurations

  • Air Core panels: thickness of 5 to 25 cm and up to 50 m long
  • Air Core beams: diameters of 10 to 30 cm and up to 20 m long
  • Air Core curved panel configurations with shaped memory retaining properties

SUMMARY

Air Core Composite™ products are lightweight rigid panels and structures that can be deflated, rolled, or folded into small packages and are rapidly deployable when inflated. Utilizing thin layers of carbon fiber in a thermoplastic polymer matrix, they deliver enhanced integrity and higher flexural modulus properties to any inflatable structure.

Testing data provided by the United States Office of Naval Research, Naval Underwater Warfare Center, shows this advanced patented laminate technology increases inflatable panel stiffness by more than 350% and tubular beams by up to 500%. These products are protected under US Patent 8273427.

Graphics copyright of Inflatable Composites

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