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Fabric storage structure is known for the more cost effective, more rapid installation and more portable alternative of concrete and permanent buildings in terms of many scenarios. Briefly speaking, for fabric structures, aluminum alloy and steel are commonly used for the frame structures and fabric panels are installed for roofs and walls.
Why these structures need to have effective insulation?
When discussing the topic about storage, imagine a temporary fabric shelter, for an example that is storing agriculture like packed grain, is located in the area where has the cold weather, sometimes with heavy snow and condensation. Without effective insulation from the structure or the external insulation solutions, the packed grain is very likely to be rendered unusable due to freezing, which will cause you big loss.
Imagine again for commercial commodities like wine and beverage storage, controlling temperature and humidity levels is vital in protection for these kinds of assets, too hot or too cold environment will lead to extreme loss.
How to effectively achieve insulation in terms of fabric sealing?
Besides technical design advantage of our structures, Shelter Structures has favorable reputation on warehouse & storage solutions, according to different industries, scenarios, and your specific requirements for stored goods.
In order to minimize or eliminate your loss due to insulation-related elements, we have provided solutions for your insulation from various aspects.
One of the key elements in effective insulation for fabric buildings is ensuring a high level of fabric sealing. Unlike the fabric sealing for event tents, the fabric panels on the sidewall can be sealed by tie-down ropes, or zipping method. In the area of warehouse and storage, fabric wall panels are directly inserting into the slots of side wall columns, even side walls are used with different materials for better insulation.
Proper sealing minimizes air leakage, preventing heat loss during cold weather and heat gain during hot weather. For example, there are gaps between fabric roof panels, which can lead to hot or cold temperature leaking into the internal of the warehouse tent, even leading to water leakage. Our solution can be implementing hook and loop fabric fasteners on the gaps in order to protect the gaps from external elements. For another example, another of our solutions can be exchange the soft wall panels (made of fabric) into hard-material wall panels, like composite wall panels, or steel composite wall panels which have better insulation function.
On the other hand, no matter with our PVC side walls or implementing our various side wall packages, on the ground, there always exist the sealing elements to seal the walls with the ground. In another word, it leads to the structures into fully enclosed, that providing a sealed space for the stored items inside and creating the storage environment that isolates external elements.
Increasing storage insulation layers
To enhance thermal performance, using double layer PVC for the roof panels is another effective solution, compared to our standard single layer PVC. It thickens the PVC layers to better control hot or cold air penetrating into the internal space.
What’s more, fabric structures can integrate insulation layers within double-layer PVC membranes. Common insulation materials include mineral wool and other alternatives, can be added in between the double layer. Compared to other insulation layer materials, such as fiberglass, foam board, the mineral wool has more advantage in cost, thermal performance, moisture resistance, and sound proof. It can minimizes the risk of condensation forming on the interior fabric surface. This is particularly important for preventing moisture-related issues, including damage to stored items.
Utilizing double-layer inflatable
Double-layer inflatable fabric is the innovative material to thermal insulation in fabric buildings. This design has an air gap between two layers of fabric, which can automatically (by using the auto device) be filled up with air onsite, providing enhanced insulation feature. The filled air in the inflatable layer can be seen as an effective thermal barrier, reducing heat transfer between the interior and exterior of the structure.
Double-layer inflatable fabric is normally used as roof panels, versatile is the key factor and it also can be used in a wide range of fabric structure applications, from temporary storage tents for urgent needs to semi-permanent warehouses.
Other solutions for insulation
Installing exhaust fans/ industrial ventilation system either on the walls or in triangular sections of the structure to facilitate the flow of air inside, which can also effectively reducing humidity levels. Industrial ventilation system can include for passive vents, automatic industrial vents and more.
However, for optimal results, the installation of an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system would be ideal. An HVAC system not only controls humidity but also ensures consistent temperature regulation, making it a perfect solution for maintaining a comfortable and controlled environment inside the structure.
Factor to be considered for selection of insulation methods
Firstly we need to consider the weather conditions for the erection area, for which the purpose is to determine insulation needs. In cold climates, excellent heat retention is the key. In contrast, for hot climates, heat reflection and reduction play the vital role. For example, double-layer inflatable fabric solution can be effectively to maintain the internal temperature in cold climates; while industrial ventilation system can speed up the hot air pass out the warehouse tents effectively and improve air circulation.
The next coming factor is definitely the cost constraints. Budget is always a critical consideration. Different insulation solutions and materials vary in cost, and your project’s financial limitations may influence your choice. For example, choosing the light color of your fabric (white), we call it reflective insulation, is budget-friendly in terms of insulating in hot climates. In the same time, industrial ventilation system, such as ridge vents and passive vents, can also be cost effective.
Maintenance is the key for fabric tents insulation. Not only to maintain the fabric panels, but also to maintain the structures and HVAC system. Some materials may require periodic inspections, cleaning, or replacement, while others are low-maintenance.
Best practise in one of Shelter Structures projects
We encountered one project from our client for an mining storage warehouse in Chile. As a common sense, mining site is normally located in remote area, the surrounding environment often has harsh weather conditions like heavy wind and snow. The same weather situation was existed for this Chile mining project. For the purpose to protect its operation vehicles and mining facilities inside the warehouse, we implemented 850gsm double-layer PVC roof with light blocking function, as well as the fully enclosed 0.6mm corrugated wall panels to ensure the stability and insulation for his 30*100*6m size warehouse buildings.
After 3 years utilization of Shelter Structures warehouse solution, the result proved that under standard maintenance, this building structure remained robust and functions properly, effectively shielding against external harsh weather conditions and had excellent results in terms of insulation by well protecting the stored vehicles and mining goods.
In all, different solution for insulation needs to be analyzed and utilized under specific environment, and Shelter Structures can always provides the appropriate warehouse solution, especially insulation solution, for your special needs.