RIB Tube Design Styles
There are currently several commonly used Inflatable Tube Design Styles in use by The the RIB Tube industry. Each designer has his own preferences based on the end use of the Inflatable Tube. That is, whether the boat is to be used as a work boat, a normal production RIB for the leisure market or perhaps a racing RIB. Consideration in Tube Design has to be taken of the properties of the materials to be used before preparing the patterns / templates for cutting. Theoretical modelling of this can be done on computer but this only serves as guide since in the final production process, each roll of material used has its own unique properties. This requires expert and skilled analysis to ensure the inflatable tube design pattern is cut correctly during the production process since the warp, weft and elasticity of each material roll affects the final shape of the tube. Inflatable Tube Design and manufacture is a complex and skilled craft.
RIB Tube Design Curved
Curved RIB Collar design is widely used. The design incorporates precise shaping of the template so that when seams have been joined the rib collar has a curved shape which fits the hull flange exactly without bending the tube. The collar design also incorporates any tapering of the tube diameter from bow to stern. This requires expert design skills taking the elasticity of the material into consideration. The collar design requires a minimum of seam joins making the finished RIB Collars look smooth and sleek. The outboard seams are covered by the rubbing strake making the outboard side appear seam free.
RIB Tube Design Sectional
Sectional Collar design is an older design style used before curved design became popular. However, this inflatable collar design style is still popular for inflatable work / commercial boats due to the rugged appearance it gives to the finshed collar. As the name suggests, the collar is designed from many straight sections which are joined and taped on the outside.
RIB Tube Design D Section
To increase the useable internal beam, inflatable designers can specifiy the use of D Section RIB Tubes / Collars. The collars are attached to the outboard side of the hull and look very stylish. Hence designers of inflatable luxury tenders often specify D Section tubes. The tubes can be fully inflatable, foam filled or a combination of the two. This inflatable design style allows for fitting using, gluing, bolt on or slide on methods.
RIB Tube Design Foam Filled
Foam covered tubes are specified by RIB Collar Designers when inflatable boats / RIBs are at higher risk of collar damage through heavy use. Typically this will be work / commercial RIBs which are constantly coming into contact with other craft, pontoons, landings or other hazards. The Collar Designer incorporates an inner inflatable tube which is wrapped with foam and then an outer hypalon fabric covering. The RIB Collar design provides a much greater degree of puncture protection compared to non foam covered tubes. The collar design and construction is usually of the sectional type.