Tent ballasting tool now available

The Tent Rental Division (TRD) of IFAI announces the release of the guidelines and online tool for ballasting of commercial tents. This calculation tool is based on a study completed with Clemson University Department of Engineering, Clemson, S.C., which focused on a series of basic experiments conducted to determine the performance of different ballast types on various ground surfaces. The performance of the selected ballasts, defined by the static and sliding friction coefficients for each ground surface under various conditions, were determined by variables of interest, including angle, anchor horizontal position, anchor vertical position, ballast type and surface type. Many drag tests were performed for each set of ballasts and ground surfaces.

This tool provides tested and proven industry guidelines for safe ballasting to help tent rental companies determine best methodology for using ballast units to anchor frame tents and clearspan structures and determine the expected mean coefficient of friction for water barrels, concrete barrels and concrete blocks on dry asphalt, wet asphalt, dry smooth concrete, wet smooth concrete, dry rough concrete, wet rough concrete, grass, dirt and gravel.

The source of the recommended weight to be applied on a given leg of a tent is provided by the tent manufacturer. Guidelines provide recommendations for how to reach the given amount of ballast and what the “weight” of the ballast is under various conditions. The ballasting tool allows a rental company to select surface type, ballast type, surface condition and modifier. Companies enter the recommended load from the tent manufacturer, ballast distance from upright and the diameter/size of the ballast, and the ballasting tool formula calculates the required amount of ballast and includes the modifier information.

Testing resulted in a set of complex formulas that contained multiple failure modes per configuration. These were converted into formulas to offer an easy tool for TRD members. To access guidelines and the ballasting tool see the Members Only section of the TRD website. TRD membership is required to access this portion of the site.

For more information, contact IFAI director of core markets Beth Hungiville at +1 651 225 6952 or blhungiville@ifai.com.