Pneumatic Structures

Pneumatic structure is a membrane structure that is stabilized by the pressure of compressed air, pneumatic structures are characterized by slightly higher pressure of internal air above the outside pressure. These structures are supported by pressurized air within the inflated building elements that are shaped to carry loads in a traditional manner.

The roof membrane of the pneumatic structure is made from rubber or reinforced films using industrial fabrics coated with polymers.

The weight of the roofing membrane is balanced and maintained by air compressors or fans or blowers.

Here we will learn about pneumatic structures, types of pneumatic structures & much more.

Introduction to pneumatic structures:

In short, pneumatic structures is a membrane structure that stabilized by compressed air pressure and has a tensile skin.

It is a very light enclosed structure usually fabricated from a membrane of impermeable material and supported by a difference in air pressure between the exterior and the interior of the structure.

Fans or compressed air or blowers must maintain an internal pressure slightly higher than normal atmospheric pressure to prevent the structure from slowly deteriorating and collapsing.

Types of Pneumatic Structures:

1.Air-supported structure:

 It is a structure in which direct pressure under envelopes or membranes, the average life of an air-supported structure is 20 to 25 years.

There is a simplicity in design and construction, it has the flexibility to use the facility for seasonal activities and the cost of such a structure is relatively low.

The air-supported structure can be used for sports stadiums in which “bubbles” were used to cover tennis courts and swimming pools and other temporary structures.

2.Air-Inflated structure:

It is the structure in which air under high pressure is filled only by the supporting elements of the structure, the capability of such a structure is self-supported.

There is no restriction on the number and size of openings and design geometries.

These structures can be used for sheds, shelters, bespoke buildings, permanent roofing and storage.

Advantages of pneumatic structures:

Following are the various advantages of pneumatic structures as follows:

  1. It is a lightweight structure.
  2. There is a possibility to cover large spans without internal support.
  3. There is an rapid assembly of structure.
  4. This is complete predetermination for light and radio waves, portability, transparency.
  5. It is a low cost structure.

Disadvantages of pneumatic structures:

Following are the various disadvantages of pneumatic structures as follows:

  1. There is the need for continuous maintenance of excess pressure in the envelope or enclosed membrane.
  2. It has a relatively short service life.
  3. It has poor fire resistance and acoustic insulation.
Pneumatic Structure
Also read: Folded plate structures, Grain storage structures & Space Frame Structure

Uses of pneumatic structures:

Following are the various uses of pneumatic structure as follows:

1. It can be used for permanent and temporary buildings for a variety of purposes such as production and storage areas, halls for performance, sports stadium like tennis, swimming pool, trade or exhibitions.

2. It can also be used for mobile buildings such as maintenance station, medical aid stations, clubhouses, libraries.

3. It can also be used for hangars and shelters at airport areas.

Also read: RCC Framed Structure, Shell Structure & Prefabricated Structure


The pneumatic structure is an environmentally friendly system that has extensive functions to the architectural discipline and various others.

The potential of those buildings might be broadened with the development of technology that might be integrated for various uses and situations.

Hello, I'm Rahul Patil founder of, I had studied B.E. Civil. This blog provides authentic information regarding civil structures, equipment, materials, tests & much more.

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