|Publication number||US3844339 A|
|Publication date||Oct 29, 1974|
|Filing date||Mar 14, 1972|
|Priority date||Mar 19, 1971|
|Also published as||CA966753A, CA966753A1, DE2113407A1, DE2113407B2, DE2113407C3, DE2209376A1|
|Publication number||US 3844339 A, US 3844339A, US-A-3844339, US3844339 A, US3844339A|
|Original Assignee||V Kranz|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (19), Classifications (11)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Kranz INFLATABLE HALL  Inventor: Vladimir Kranz, 3,
Crailsheimstrasse, 8 Munich 23, Germany  Filed: Mar. 14, 1972  Appl. No.: 234,503
 Foreign Application Priority Data Mar. 19, 1971 Germany 2113407 Feb. 28, 1972 Germany 2209376  US. Cl. 165/46  Int. Cl F28f 7/00  Field of Search 165/46, 50, 49; 135/1  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,256,895 6/1966 Duquette 135/1 Primary Examiner-Charles Sukalo Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Hauke, Gifford, Patalidis &'
Dumont 5 7 ABSTRACT The present invention relates to an inflatable hall or bag comprising a cover that is anchored in the ground and is under superpressure on the inside. This inflatable hall is provided with a covering made up of two superposed foils, with an air cushion disposed thcrebetween, which is in communication with the air-filled hall space through the inner foil. The amount of spacing between the two foils can be adjusted by blower means and by changing the permeability of the foil material to air. The temperature of the air inside the hall and inside the space between the two foils can be controlled by heating means and cooling means being connected to the blower means.
6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures INFLATABLE HALL lnflatable halls are known and are utilized, e.g., as covered courts, warehouses and very generally as protective covering against the influences of weather at construction sites, to wit depending upon the type and property of the covering material employed with or without network of ropes which takes on the traction exerted by the inside pressure of the covering and also by the outside wind pressure onto the covering foil.
in particular, these inflatable halls must be heated in the winter and therefore require a good insulation, so that heating costs will be kept within reasonable limits. The materials used so far for such coverings, to wit thin plastic foils or stronger fabric foils, with the latter being made up with regard to their strength such that they can receive the traction forces influencing them without a net having to be provided, leave much to be desired as far as their heat insulation is concerned. However, when employing foils of greater thickness there is the disadvantage of a greater weight per unit area of the covering, so that the blower inflating the inflatable hall will have to be more powerful. The rise in costs entailed thereby is still augmented by the additional costs in material on account of the thicker covering. On the other hand, even if there is a sufficient heat insulation for cold weather conditions, the air in the hall will then be excessively heated again in the case of warm weather and intense sunlight, so that such a hall must be provided in addition with a ventilation.
It is a main object of the invention to provide an inflatable hall making possible with simpler means a better heat insulation from cold, but also not only sufficient ventilation of the inside space of the hall during the warm season, to wit in connection with inflatable halls requiring a network as well as also in the case of those not requiring such network.
A further object is to provide an inflatable hall of the above type wherein the mutual spacing between the two foils can be adjusted in order to influence the insulating effect.
Another object is to provide an inflatable hall of the above type having means for ventilating the space between the foils in those cases, in which the two foils are sealed at the ground separately from one another.
An additional object is to control the temperature of the air inside the hall and within the air cushion between the two foils.
It is still a further object to arrange and build a blowing means within or outside of an inflatable hall of the above type for controlling air temperature and ventilation so that the operating costs can be lowered successfully.
These objects are attained according to one aspect of the invention in that the covering is madeup of two superposed foils, with an air cushion disposed therebetween, which is in communication with the air-filled hall space through the inner foil.
Such an air cushion is provided on account of the fact that the foils employed generally are gas-permeable, so that the air that is diffused outwardly through the inner foil at first accumulates in front of the inner surface of the outer foil before being diffused therethrough to the open air. The air space thus resulting between the two foils provides a very good heat insulation of the inside of the hall without causing the inside of the hall to become too greatly heated in the case of warm weather and much sunlight.
The mutual spacing between the two foils, by which the insulating effect can be influenced, can be adjusted, according to a further aspect of the invention, by changing the permeability of the foil material to air. This can first of all be done basically in that foils which have a different permeability to air to start with are employed, in which regard a decrease in the spacing can be attained on the one hand by reducing the air permeability of the inside foil relative to the outside foil and, on the other hand, a decrease of the spacing between the foils can be effected by increasing the air permeability of the outside foil relative to the inside foil.
According to another aspect the desired change in air permeability can be attained by vent openings which then are arranged in both foils, but in a manner in which they are off set relative to one another, so that the air in the hall must at least partially flow over the surface of the inside foil in order to reach the open air through the opening disposed in the outside foil, which provides for a better ventilation of the space between the foils.
According to still another aspect further means of ventilating the space between the foils is provided in those cases, in which two foils are sealed at the ground separately from one another, to wit two parallel seals are provided between which there is a gap. ln such a case the air can reach the gap from the inside of the hall through the ground which usually is porous. Such a possibility is not provided for when employing a single seal of the two foils on the ground side.
According to still a further aspect of the invention another type of ventilation of the space between the foils has proven good, in which the feed pipe of the blower on the pressure side which penetrates both foils is provided with an opening in the region of the space between the foils, so that a portion of the air fed by the blower into the inside of the hall can flow out into the space between the foils before reaching the inside of the hall.
In such cases in which the foils are made up of a material which is substantially not permeable to air and, as is usually the case, are welded together of individual strips of material, a certain'air permeability is expected, or, respectively, provided at the welding seams, so that the above indicated effect of the formation of an air cushion between the inner foil and the outer foil is attained. However, it has turned out to be advantageous to arrange in such cases the welding seams of the one foil so as to be off set relative to the other one, so that,
similarly as in the case of the openings provided in both foils, the air in the hall cannot directly flow through the two foils.
However, the amount of spacing between the two foils can not only be influenced by changing the permeability, but it can also be influenced by employing materials of different elongation and elasticity. If no netting is employed on the outer foil in order to receive the traction forces, then the outer foil must at least consist of a sturdy material, e.g., a coated fabric which receives the forces transmitted from the inside hall pressure. in such a case, the inner foil can likewise consist of such a sturdy material, but it does not necessarily have to; considering that such materials are relatively expensive, less expensive foils of elastic and greatly extensible material are often employed, which can, however, only be utilized together with a network of ropes resting on the outer foil. Such network then provides the advantage that it can urge the outer foil onto the outer surface of the inner foil in the surface areas on which the rope strands rest, in which regard the outer foil bulges between the meshes of the network, so that relatively self-contained air spaces are defined between individual meshes which make possible a good head insulation of the hall space. Also in this case, the welding seams can again be arranged off set from one another between the inner and the outer foil, so that in the case of nontightness of said seams it is not possible for the hall air to flow outwardly directly through the superposed foils.
The invention will be more fully understood from the following detailed description thereof when considering the accompanying drawing wherein certain embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example and in which:
FIG. I is a sectional view of an inflatable hall consisting of two foils FIG. 2 is a view similar to that in FIG. 1, but with the two foils being provided with vent openings FIG. 3 is a sectional view of an inflatable hall consisting of two foils, with a network of ropes being provided on the outer foil FIG. 4 is an outside view of the inflatable hall shown in FIG. 3
FIG. 5 is an outside view of an inflatable hall consisting of two foils, with the welding seams of the two foils being shown and FIG. 6 is a sectional view similar to that of FIGS. 1 or 2, with the arrangement of a blower being shown which feeds the inside of the hall as well as also the space between the foils with air.
The inflatable hall shown in FIG. 1 comprises for heat insulation an outer foil 3 and an inner foil 4, which are arranged at a spacing A from one another. An air cushion is provided between both foils, which is defined by the air diffused from the inside of the inflatable hall to the outside through both foils. A blower (not shown) maintains a positive air pressure in the hall. The two foils consist of one or more porous, to a certain extent air-permeable materials and are anchored in the ground 2. Each foil is provided with a seal l7, 18 at the anchoring locations. The air flowing outwardly through the inner foil accumulates in front of the inner surface of the outer foil before it likewise passes through said foil and thereby causesa lifting of the outer foil from the surface of the inner foil. In this manner an approximately constant spacing A between the two foils is provided upon otherwise constant operating conditions.
The air cushion thus formed between both foils pro-' vides for a sufflcient heat insulation leading to a considerable reduction in heating costs when such halls are operated in the cold season, be it as hall for sports, as warehouse or as halls at construction sites.
The two foils of the inflatable hall 1, in which no network of ropes is employed on the outer foil in order to receive the traction forces acting on said foil, are either made up of the same or of different materials, the strength of which is so great that no network is required for receiving these forces.
Such materials, e.g., are plastic-coated cloths. If different materials are employed for the two foils, they may differ as regards essential properties, such as elasticity and porosity. In every case the air diffused from the inside to the outside according to the pressure drop lifts the outer foil from the inner foil, so that the said air cushion is defined. The spacing A between both foils in that regard depends, however, upon the type and property of the foil materials employed. This provides the possibility to adjust said spacing within certain limits. For if it is be desired to increase the spacing, this can be attained in that the gas-permeability of the inner foil relative to that of the outer foil is increased. On the other hand, a reduction in spacing between both foils is attained by increasing the air-permeability of the outer foil with respect to the inner foil.
As already mentioned, the air-permeability of the two foils can be changed by employing foil materials of different porosity, but it can also be effected in that, according to FIG. 2, vent openings 5, 6 are provided either in the one or in the other foil or in both foils, which openings are adapted to be opened and closed e.g. by means of flaps l5, 16 or slides. Such vent openings should be arranged in the foils in such a manner that the air cannot directly pass through both foils, i.e. they are to be off set relative to one another as shown in FIG. 2, so that the air emerging through the vent opening 5 will at first have to flow in the space between the foils in order to attain a vent opening 6 in the outer foil. This provides for an additional ventilation of the air space between both foils effecting a better cooling of the hall in particular in summer, because it prevents the air from becoming to greatly heated in the space between the foils.
In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 2 only a single seal 19 is employed for sealing both the foils from the ground, so that in contrast to the sealing of both foils as shown in FIG. 1, there is no space on the ground between the foils into which air from the inside of the hall can diffuse. This possibility is indicated in FIG. 1 by the arrow. This provides for a further possibility of ventilating the space between the foils, which may be employed either alone or in connection with the above indicated vent openings or the porous properties of the foils.
Moreover, the space between the foils can be fed with air, as shown in FIG. 6, with the aid of a separate outlet opening 22, on the pressure line of a blower 20, so that only a portion of the air fed by the blower 2o flows into the inside of the hall through the outlet opening 21. As will be apparent later the blower 20 can be equipped with heating and cooling means 27. In such a case, the inner foil 4 can be relatively gas-tight, since the air required as air cushion is not taken from the inside of the hall.
If in such cases in which the outer foil and the inner foil or only the outer foil consist of a relatively expansible, elastic material, thus, e.g., not of a plastic-coated web of fabric, a network of ropes is placed in known manner onto the covering in order to receive the traction forces transmitted to the covering, such as shown in FIG. 3, bulging in the outer foil result between the meshes of the rope strands 7 when employing a covering consisting of the two foils 3, 4, with the outside view thereof being shown in FIG. 4, in which regard the network of ropes is designated by 8. The greatest spacing of these individual bulgings 24 is adjustable in the above indicated manner just as the spacing A, that is by the selection of different foil properties, by providing vent openings, by non-tightness on the ground side between the sealing elements or directly by branching the air from the blower. The three last mentioned possibilities are proffered particularly in a case where the outer foil is not urged into close contact with the surface of the inner foil by the network. However, if this is the case, that is if the outer foil securely rests with its inner side on the outer surface of the inner foil in the region of the rope strands 7 as shown at 23 in FIG. 3, relatively closed, gas-tight bulged chambers 24 result between the individual meshes of the net. This type of construction of the covering then has the result that there is not ventilation between the adjacent bulged chambers 24 on account of the good sealing of the foils disposed over one another, so that self-contained gascushions are defined that entail a good heat insulation. Because of the fact that the foil materials employed for the design as according to FIG. 3 are considerably less expensive than the materials required for the designs as according to FIGS. 1 and 2, the production costs of an inflatable hall as according to FIG. 3 are considerably lower without good insulating properties having to be renounced, which must be attained in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The network of ropes employed thus does not only take on the job of receiving traction forces in the cases in which relatively elastic, extensible foil materials are employed for the covering, but it also fullfills a mechanical sealing function in that it can urge the outer foil onto the inner foil, so that the relatively closed bulged chambers 24 as shown in FIG. 3 result.
As mentioned above, the air passage through the foils can also be attained via the welding seams which hold together the individual webs of material. These welding seams usually are air permeable in a case where they have not been precisely applied during the welding process. They may also be intentionally produced to be untight.
If the air-permeability of the two foils 3, 4 is attained through the welding seams, these seams, as shown in FIG. 5, should not be arranged directly above one another, so that the air cannot directly flow from the inner foil through the outer foil. As may be gathered from FIG. 5, the vertical and horizontal welding scams 9, in the outer foil 3, are arranged off set relative to the vertical and horizontal welding seams 11, 12 in the inner foil 4, so that also the points of intersection I3, 14 of the individual welding seams show a corresponding lateral spacing from each other, thus providing for the circulation of air similarly as in the embodiment shown in FIG. 2. Thus it is possible in this manner to at first laterally deflect the air entering into the space through the inner foils 4 and to guide it along in the space before it diffuses through the outer foil 3 at the next-following welding seams.
FIG. 3 shows the off set arrangement of the welding seams of the outer foil and the inner foil at 25 and 26, from which it follows that also in such cases in which the outer foil is urged against the inner foil in the region of the network of ropes, the air from the hall cannot directly flow through the welding seams of the foils disposed above one another.
The novel inflatable hall thus is primarily characterized by good heat insulation in the cold season and, moreover, makes possible better cooling of the hall, upon a particular design of the two foils, in the warm season by ventilation of the space between the foils.
The outside air blown into the space between the foils via opening 22 e.g. with the aid of a second blower-pressure pipe may be utilized, as may be gathered from FIG. 6, not only for maintaining the spacing that is provided between both foils, but may also be utilized for controlling the spacing, and, furthermore, for tempering the air provided in the space between the foils.
It is necessary to temper said air in particular in a case where the outer foil is made up of a material aiding in heating the air cushion disposed in the space between the foils primarily in the case of much sunlight in summer. In this case, the temperatures within the inner space of the hall also rise to intolerable values. In winter, on the other hand, it may be desired to heat the space between the foils so as to remove snow and ice from the outer surface of the hall.
Therefore, it has turned out to be of advantage to cool the air stream produced by the blower which as indicated above includes means for cooling the air and to blow cooled air to the inside of the hall, with the inner foil, which in many cases is provided with an air outlet opening that is adapted to be closed and leads directly to the open, being tightly closed while simultaneously an air stream is blown into the space between the foils, which air stream is of a temperature that corresponds to the outside temperature. The cooling means may be arranged outside of but also within the hall, with in the latter case the blower arrangement operating according to the recirculating air method, which means that the air provided in the hall is constantly guided through the cooling means and replaces only the relatively small amount of air which is lost by possible non-tightness of the hall structure by suckingin air from outside.
The blower 20 as indicated above also includes heating means which can be employed for heating the sucked-in outside air, or, respectively, the circulating air, when the temperatures outside in the winter time require heating of the air in the hall. However, also in this case air from outside is usually blown into the space between the foils, to wit primarily to save costs, since the outside air that is blown in escapes to the outside again after a short period of time through the vent slab provided in the outer covering.
This application is intended to cover variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention following, in general, the principles of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains, and as fall within the scope of the invention or the limits of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An inflatable hall comprising a covering anchored in the ground, blower means maintaining said covering under inside positive air pressure to provide an air filled al p waid s eriaabsirig IQQQ? up o n n outer foil and an inner foil, said foils disposed above one another, a supporting network of ropes extending in crisscross fashion and engaging the outer surface of the outer foil to urge it toward the inner foil and to form a plurality of pockets between the inner and outer foils and means communicating said pockets through said inner foil with said air filled hall space.
2. The inflatable hall as defined in claim 1 and in which said foils comprise individual webs of material being airpermeable at the welding seams, said welding seams of said inner foil comprising said communication means, the welding seams in said outer foil and the welding seams in the inner foil being arranged in a lat- 5. An inflatable hall as defined in claim 1 and in which said foils are sealed from each other at the ground by sealing means and said blower means is operable to blow air from inside the hall into the space between said foils through said sealing means.
6. An inflatable hall as defined in claim 5 and in which the sealing means of both of the foils comprise a common ground seal.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No 3 I D t d October y I Inventor(s) Vladimir Kranz It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patentare hereby corrected as shown below:
Col. 1, line 31, after "means delete "a" and I insert --not only-- 1 line 32 after "also" delete "not only".
Signed and sealed this 14th day of January 1975.
McCOY M. GIBSON JR. Attesting Officer C. MARSHALL DANN Commissioner of Patents FORM 504050 (10459) uscoMM-oc 60376-P69 w .5. GOVERNMENT PRNTING OFFICE Z 19. O356'33|.
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|International Classification||E04H15/20, E04H15/22|
|Cooperative Classification||E04H15/20, E04H2015/209, E04H2015/204, E04H15/22, E04H2015/203, E04H2015/206|
|European Classification||E04H15/20, E04H15/22|