Inflatable Air Bladders: Basic Applications

When people Google the term “inflatable air bladders,” they often think of fish. Yet, the term is applicable for many other purposes. New technologies have introduced various ways to provide protective measures. In the medical and safety fields, the use of air bladder has introduced improved methods of ensuring the safety of individuals when certain situations erupt.

What Is a Bladder?

Essentially, a bladder is a construct of specialized woven and/or non-woven material capable of withstanding diverse temperature and chemical requirements. Common materials are:

 * Canvas
 * EPDM Rubber – ethylene propylene diene monome
 * Kevlar
 * Neoprene
 * Nitrile
 * Nylon
 * Polyester
 * Polyethylene
 * Polyurethanes
 * Polyvinylchloride
 * Viton

It is capable of containing a variety of substances in low and/or high pressure applications. A bladder can hold

 * Air
 * Gas
 * Fluid
 * Oil
 * Solids

Whether large or small such bladders are actually capable of containing almost anything. As inflatable bladders, they are flexible in their containment.

Companies may produce all types of bladders or specialize in any of the following:

 * Air bladders
 * Gas containment
 * Fluid and Oil containment bladders

These all serve specific purposes in the industrial world, including medical and general safety devices.

Applications of Inflatable Air Bladders

Air bladders are generally inflatable. They are also flexible. Typical applications of air bladders of this type include:

 * Pneumatic Pillows: Commonly employed
 * Inflatable Cushions: Used in a variety of applications
 * Flotation Devices: This includes such things as inflatable paddle floats which are typically made of urethane-coated nylon. The paddler blows up an air bladder with a few puffs of air through a one-way valve, then proceeds with attaching it to the paddle as described above. Inflatable paddle floats offer better flotation than foam floats, making them a better choice for larger paddlers, but they require more time spent in the water to set up.
 * Dunnage: Packaging materials used to protect items during transportation
 * Spill Containment Systems: such as booms
 * Wheelchair Seats: Inflatable air bladders can be employed as a component of certain sectional wheel chair seats components of sectional
 * Pipe Plugs: Commonly employed in the oil and gas industries
 * Blood Pressure Equipment

People also employ air bladders in other ways. They can push, pull or grip objects to make moving them easier. Some are referred to as “lift bags.”

Inflatable Air Bladders

Several species of fish have swim or air bladders. It may, perhaps be the origin of the idea of creating and inflating materials to serve various purposes. Today, various manufactories and service industries rely on such products to help them achieve specific goals. Whether it is to ensure safe delivery of a product or to help save someone thrown into the sea, inflatable air bladders are an important component of today’s everyday world.

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