Texas Boom Company

Five primary types of oil containment boom

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Source: Texas Boom Company

There are typically five primary types of containment boom manufactured and deployed in the United States and Canada.  We provide a brief description of each for the benefit of those not familiar with containment boom.  All containment boom is sold in managable sections that can be joined end to end to form longer lengths.  Boom manufacturers typically utlize universal connectors so that boom from different companies can be used in combination.   In emergency deployments, containment boom can be strung continuously for miles.  

1 - Foam Filled Containment Boom

Also referred to as Conventional Boom, Contractor Boom, Standard Boom.  This boom has flotation chambers filled with closed cell foam and sealed to provide the buoyancy needed to keep the boom afloat and provide the freeboard that contains the oil.  These booms also feature a skirt that is suspended below the water to help with oil containment.  This skirt provides the draft height.  Tension cables and ballast chains provide strength and stability.  Containment boom is light and can be quickly and easily deployed.

Typcial Uses:  Ponds, Streams, Rivers, Bays, Near Shore, Offshore

Industries include:  Oil & Gas, Construction, Dredging, Mining, Chemical, Military, Transportation, Government

Battleship - Texas Boom Foam Filled Containment Boom

2 - Inflatable Containment Boom

This boom relies on a flotation chamber filled with air to provide the buoyancy for the boom.  These inflatable containment booms can be stored flat, and the flotation chamber is filled with an air blower during deployment.  Inflatable containment boom is often stored on reels to allow for easy deployment.  The inflatable containment boom offers the advantage of requiring less storage space for a given length of boom compared to a foam filled containment boom.   Tension cables and ballast chains provide strength and stability. 

There are also containment booms marketed as self inflating boom.  These flotation chambers contain open celled foam that can be compressed during boom storage.  When deployed, the open cell foam expands to its orginal form, providing a hybrid between conventional foam filled foam boom and inflatablle boom.  

Typcial Uses:  Rivers, Bays, Near Shore, Offshore, Deep Water

Industries include:  Oil & Gas, Construction, Dredging, Mining, Chemical, Military, Transportation, Government

3 - Permanent Containment Boom

Permanent Boom, or Fence Boom, is intended for longer term deployment, or where conditions may exceed the capabiity of alternative boom.  Permanent containment boom is constructed of heavy duty flexible belts that have floatation chambers attached.  As the name implies, these containment booms are more durable and last longer than either foam filled or inflatable containment boom.  These permanent boom can also be effectively deployed to contain debris as well.  

Typcial Uses:  Ports, Marinas, Rivers, Bays, Near Shore, Offshore

Industries include:  Oil & Gas, Construction, Dredging, Mining, Chemical, Military, Transportation, Government