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Each project defines what type of fabric is required. This is based upon the purpose and use of the structure and, what the operational requirements may be.

PU-Coated Rip Stop Nylon
This material is probably one of the most common fabrics used for temporary inflatable dome structures. It is light weight, strong and comes in a wide variety of colours and strengths.

PU-Coated Polyester
This fabric has all the qualities of Rip Stop Nylon, but offers increased longevity and durability due to its tighter weave and chemical bond. It also does not deform as much as Rip Stop Nylon so maintains a slightly greater pressure of air over time and repeated use. Side by side the materials look and feel alike and operate similarly.  Polyester is a little bit more expensive then Rip Stop Nylon.

Fabric Options

Polyvinyl chloride – PVC
PVC is one of the most widely used materials in the production of inflatables. Manufactured in a wide variety of thicknesses, it is used for its strength, durability and flexibility. Used in the construction of countless temporary inflatable structures, this material is easy to clean and repair. The downsides to PVC are its weight and its reaction to longer term UV exposure. In order to provide similar load capacities to that of Rip Stop Nylon or Polyester, PVC has to be thicker which dramatically increases weight, making it harder to erect and transport. Additionally, PVC is actually a brittle material which needs plasticises added during manufacture; UV rays breakdown these plasticises over time causing cracking.

Each fabric has its unique pros and cons determining which one to use for construction. A mixture of fabrics can be used to offset certain weaknesses or issues of the structures requirements.

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