Thursday, July 2, 2009

Single Wall Airbeam Update

We've been getting several calls and emails recently about the status of single wall airbeams. NEMO started development of single wall airbeams to compliment our existing airbeams by providing an ultralight and compact alternative. These new beams will not replace our existing technology but will offer another option for specific applications.

Last fall, after much development work into the fabric construction and welding process of single wall airbeams, we made production samples for testing. We had high hopes of bringing this generation of development to market. But, during testing in a thermal chamber in a lab at MIT, we found that high temperatures (140-160F) caused the weld strength to decrease significantly. While it's extremely rare that the air temperature would ever reach those levels, it's not unusual for temperatures to be that high inside a tent in direct sunlight on a hot day as a result of absorption of thermal/radiant energy (think glovebox or trunk of your car on a hot day). In the end, we just weren't comfortable releasing a product that we weren't 100% confident in, and decided to do more development work to get it right. In fact, we basically started over from the very beginning to make sure we're on the best possible path.

Since then, the team of designers and engineers at NEMO has been steadfastly working on new single wall airbeam constructions that will better withstand extreme heat. We know some of you are really anticipating this new technology from us, and after being teased with the possibility of seeing it this season, you're anxious for us to make good on our promise. We're impatient too and we're sorry to make you wait. But we also know you expect us to deliver a top quality product that you can depend on under any circumstance. So it might be a little while yet before we're ready to debut single wall airbeams, but we're working hard on this project and we'll post an update again down the road a bit.


No comments: