Pneumatic bladders are hermetic containers of air configured to specific or unique shapes and sizes. They are devices that are made out of flexible materials like fabrics or rolled sheets of films that are filled with air. Pneumatic bladders use the concept and technology of pneumatic valves, but instead of using pressurised air to move a valve back and forth, pressurised air is used to fill up the bladder.
Pneumatic bladders need to be flexible as this allows them to be used in a variety of applications. These include emergency applications such as seal drains and ducts to contain chemical spills or fire water on water, marine applications such as artificial coral reefs, pneumatic dunnage bags to stabilise cargo, and medical research applications.
The making of pneumatic bladders
Pneumatic bladders are created through a process using radio frequency welding, hot air welding, hot wedge sealing, or solvent bonding. Rotational moulding or injection moulding can also be used if the containment bladder needs to be rigid instead of collapsible or flexible.
The medium in the bladder, the application, and the environment it will be used in will determine its construction and materials. Common materials used include:
- PVC laminated or coated fabric
- Cloth-backed vinyl
- Thermoplastic films
- Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
- Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) or elastomers (TPE)
Each of these materials has its specific strength, and each works best for its particular application. Each material comes in a variety of thickness and even colours.
Some industries need pneumatic bladders for chemical resistance. This means the bladders need not only be UV resistant, but the materials should also resist all types of chemicals from the inside and out. Standard materials used for such bladders are polyethylene and PVC.
Industries where you commonly see pneumatic bladders
- Aerospace – The airbags in airline seats can also double as flotation devices.
- Shipping – Pneumatic bladders are used to fill vacant spaces that might cause damage to packages should they suddenly shift during shipping.
- Automotive – Bladders for lumbar support are used to make the automobile seats more comfortable.
- Medical industry – Pneumatic bladders are used extensively throughout the medical field, including therapeutic arm wraps.
- Safety industry – Pneumatic bladders are preferred as emergency oxygen bags on many commercial aircraft.
Master Mac 2000
For pneumatic valves and other pressure control valve system needs, Master Mac 2000 has been a long-time provider of these as well as other cylinder and pneumatic components. It is one of the country’s largest distributors of premium brands, including Univer, Mack, Piab, and many others. For enquiries, go to https://mastermac2000.com.au/ today.