Technical Differences between inflatable structure construction options
Inflatables have been used as temporary structures for decades, from their early use as ammunition stores in wars to covering sports stadiums the world over. At Optix Structures, we have a few options in how inflatable structures are made.
As designers, producers and suppliers of high quality inflatable temporary structures for events and space projects, we integrate three styles of inflatable design and manufacture; Air Flow, Sealed Air Beam and Binary Flow.
Air Flow Inflatables Explained
The original method of inflatable structure design and production. The structure is inflated with a constant supply of air through integral fans. The air is drawn from the structure exterior and is expelled into the air cavity of the structure. The structure is designed to leak on the interior and exterior.
Constant power is required.
Structures that use this age-old method include our inflatable walls, inflatable Lunas, mobile exercise studios. We use a high tension tested and flame retardant ripstop material for our airflow inflatable structures.
Airflow structures have a twin cavity wall and roof which acts as a great insulator, both for temperatures and noise. This makes airflow structures perfect for meetings and conferences and warmer environments in outdoor events and also indoors for heated exercise spaces.
Sealed Frame Explained
A common method used in inflatable product design such as inflatable furniture and toys. Optix Sealed Frame structures are designed and produced using an integral air tube frame system that is heat and frequency welded together.
This framework is the base for the cover which includes the roof and walling system. The structure can be inflated by hand or electrical pump. Our sealed frame structures measure up to 8 metres in size. Once inflated these sealed air beam structures do not require power.
Air Beam Explained
The Sealed Air Beam inflatable structure method combines both the Air Flow and the Sealed Frame System.
The addition of the Air Beams increases the wind load of the structure and for extra structural safety, add a temporary fail safe in the event of loss of power.
Inflatable Technology Comparison
Inflation / Deflation Times
Running Power Required
Wind Speeds (ballasted)
Power Loss Structure Safety
From 1 minute
From 6 amps
Up to 34mph
Via optional trussing
From 1 week
Lightest per m2
From 1 minute
Up to 37mph
From 3 week
Heaviest per m2
From 15 minutes
From 4 amps
Up to 55mph
From 3 weeks