Dome Coverings

Some information on various types of coverings for domes we make.

For horticulture:

1. Super Poly  - woven poly tarp we sell in 11 thickness. see: Super Poly
2. Coroplast - horticultural type is translucent and insulates. see: www.coroplast.com
3. Polycarbonate - acrylic lexan (brand name) type fluted twin wall glazing, various types, brands and thickness. Most expensive, most durable and best insulating. see: www.polygal.com
4. Clear films - non woven films of various types and thickness. If you would like a very clear see-thru film, this is the type to use- ask for details.
5. Shade cloths - various types and brands of shade cloth and netting materials, including a fine screen material that will keep out tiny insects. In the greenhouse, you may need a shade cloth in addition to windows/vents to keep temperatures manageable in summer months. Use white over films.

Recently some of our customers are using a new bubble wrap product to cover thier domes. It is a horticultural insulating film, less expensive and easier to apply than polycarbonate glazing. We have not tried it ourselves and do not sell it yet but think it looks really good for gardens in domes in cold climates. It is called Solawrap and comes in 4 and 6ft. widths, so your dome type can be sized for optimal use. We can provide cut patterns for using it with domes that have larger triangles, for optimal use. It may be used in together with our Super Poly woven polyethylene 11 mil film. More information at solawrap.com

Garden Dome 3 - X1 , a 30 ft 2x4 dome with the Super Poly covering.
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Using Polycarbonate twin/triple wall glazing panels

The dome is sized for optimal use of the polycarb, which is the largest expense, based on 4 ft" and 6 ft wide sheets. Patterns are made for the hollow flutes in the polycarb to be oriented an up/down as much as possible on the dome, for water droplets from condensation to flow out. Also, triangles saw patterns are made for the UV exterior side of the panel always out when installed on the dome ("exterior side out").

Includes instructions for sawing, drilling holes for fasteners, and installation; door covering and window options. Also seam cover methods and sealing to keep water out. Making the cover patterns takes several hours, depending on dome type/size, and is an added expense.

The dome struts will lift up the panels enough to avoid contact with the pvc hubs.


http://www.green-tek.com/polycarbonate.html

Using the -X1 option and cover panels. explaination-

When you saw up the polycarb [for full dome triangles], you get lots of scraps that can ngles for lessbe used. That is about half of the material overall. Because polycarb. costs so much, there ia a way to use the scraps and save lots of money. Since scraps are about half size, they can be made to fit and joined over the X1 struts that will give support of understructure. [Sawing panels using right triangles for less waste]

You can use the scraps without the X1 struts. I would use aluimnum sheet in strips about 2" wide on both sides to make a splice, with stainless steel fasteners through the al. and polycarb.  There are some commercially made products for this purpose also. ("H" channel). You can most likely put all the triangles with splices (X1 struts) on the dome bottom for more light through the top [using the fulll triangles]
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For shelters

1. Woven poly tarps - heavy duty types such as 20 mil silver/black or white/whitefor details- ask for details
2. Natural cotton canvas
3. Synthetic canvas - fabrics can be sewed in a one piece covering made to fit the dome.
4. Coroplast - many colors and thickness.

Roofing--

Use plywood 3/8" or thicker or OSB [Oriented Strand Board], cut in triangles and nailed/stapled/glued to attach.
Stucco can be waterproofed and is a good covering that can be hand applied or sprayed on. Compare with Stonecoat and Permacrete brands.

Plywood with a metal covering is available and Peel n Seal can be used as well as elastomeric paint and metellized roofing paint.

Composition shingles over roofing felt paper is often used.
Layer shingles to cover panels and seams.

Check google and Yahoo! dome groups for advice and resources from users.


OSB panels installed on the 20 ft 2 x 4 Star Dome 2-C. Uncovered star area is for a window, struts here are 2 x 6 and extend outward, beyond the cover panels

An advantage of the unique domes we make may be found in researching covering options.  The "-X1" domes with right triangles and several domes with right triangle and near right triangle structure offer possibility of efficient covering of domes with triangles cut from rectangle sheets, typically 4 x 8 ft. We use CAD programs to determine an ideal efficiency of building and covering domes, depending on dome type and size and cover materials. See for example:  Garden Dome 2-X1 plans


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