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NEWS | Oct. 26, 2020

CBRN: M8E1 Chemical Biological Protective Shelter Air Beam Caution

Chemical Biological Protective Shelter
Photo by Spc. Justin Snyder
Operators and maintainers, pay attention when inflating the Chemical Biological Protective Shelter (CBPS) M8E1 protective fabric shelter (PFS).

That’s because the two (2) center air beams can get entangled, preventing the PFS from inflating and possibly damaging the air beams. Prior to inflating, when the air beams are still flat, make sure the beams aren’t twisted when they’re connected. If you’re not careful, the air beams can twist when the shelter is filled with air. Then the beams can rip. Even as little as a quarter of a turn may tear the beams due to the increased air pressure.

In addition to the two (2) center air beams, there are two (2) end air beams connected by purlins, and a smaller air beam in the ambulatory airlock. The air beams are inflated to a maximum of 16 psi—which is needed to support heavy snow loads by the Rapid Inflation Blower (RIB). The RIB is a two-stage system located in the small enclosure (SE) that uses a blower and a compressor.

Keep the CBPS M8E1 performing its best by doing the following before inflating the PFS:
  • Ensure the dump caps are in place and the straps are tight and secure around the dump caps.
  • Inspect the purlins for leaks, as well as the air beams themselves, looking for cracks and kinks or tears that prevent them from staying inflated.
  • Make sure the air beams aren’t twisted when installed.
  • Turn the vent on in the Environmental Control Unit (ECU) to assist the air beams when pressurizing. The M8E1 must be in static mode after the vent is turned on.
  • After the PFS is erected, inspect all connections to the air beams and purlins.

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