Armed But Not Dangerous

Balancing air quality for cadets alongside airflow to avoid interference with ballistic trajectory, has been fulfilled at a new, state-of-the-art facility.

Britain’s leading air movement specialist Gilberts (Blackpool) delivered the challenge in the construction of a new accredited training school for a branch of the UK security sector.

Alongside the four storey main ‘school’ building are two firing training arenas, where both live and blank ammunition will be fired.

Both ranges feature banks of Gilberts’ ventilation grille and plenum assemblies, up to 3.8m high, integrated into the ballistic steel walls. A total of 38no assemblies, with Gilberts’ G grille at the core, ensure adequate, laminar supply of fresh air into the zones without affecting the bullet trajectory.

Gilberts’ G Series of aluminium grilles provide single or double deflection for supply and extract in ceilings or walls. Each aerofoil blade is individually adjustable, enabling achievement of the fine tolerances required for the ranges. In-house facilities including computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, and a bespoke testing laboratory meant Gilberts was able to validate concept and performance before installation and operation.

“We had to prove our design moved all the carbon dioxide and lead to the exhaust end of the range and kept airflow consistent from the firing end to the targets,” explained Gilberts’ Technical Director Roy Jones. “In testing, we achieved face velocity as low as 0.1- 0.3m/s across the whole range.”

This shooting range is the latest of several similar projects that Gilberts has delivered, on ranges varying from 20m to 100m deep, and represents another example of Gilberts’ expertise in creating a perfect air movement environment; it has solved further complex challenges as diverse as mirroring tropical rain forest air movement for a zoological park, to maintaining a conditioned environment in a 9m high entrance hall where the main façade was fully glazed.

Founded 57 years ago, family-owned Gilberts has grown to become the UK’s leading independent air movement specialist. The company is unique in its ability to engineer air movement solutions entirely in-house, from initial strategic design through to component tooling, production, testing and supply. It also has one of the most technically-advanced in-house test centres in the country. Gilberts’ components are designed and manufactured in the UK, at the company’s 90,000sq ft Blackpool headquarters.

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