Gilberts helps accuracy in line of fire
The Blackpool engineering company, which is Britain’s leading marque in air movement, has applied its technical wizardry to create the perfect atmosphere for a new indoor, underground shooting range.
“It was quite a challenge, to ensure the guests and potential purchasers enjoyed a safe, comfortable atmosphere, with appropriate levels of fresh air, and air quality, against anything which could disturb the flow and accuracy of the bullets as weapons were discharged,” says Gilberts Technical Director Roy Jones.
Roy and his team devised a solution whereby a floor to ceiling wall of grilles was constructed in front of the entrance and observation gallery, to provide a laminar flow down the length of the shooting range, with all of the air travelling in one direction, away from clients.
“The airflow pattern was essential to avoid any disturbance of the bullet’s travel through the air,” added Roy. “Typically we would vent a space from the ceiling down, which obviously would impact on the flight path, and potentially create turbulence, which needed to be avoided at all costs! We had to ensure an airflow, between 0.1- 0.3m/s, that was consistent from floor to ceiling, and that provided the required comfort and environmental requirements.”
An even wall of air at the shooting line was the desired objective; however, that potentially created ‘dead zones’ where the doors and viewing windows did not allow air entry.
Gilberts’ solution was to manufacture the bespoke units, from designs formed using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software, then individually test them within its in- house facility to ensure the airflow was perfectly even. On site, careful pre-balancing of each plenum and grille, and adjustment of each blade within the grilles, from the top of the wall down, at commissioning stage addressed the issue to create the correct air pattern of even airflow across the face.
The 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- which it designed and built using internal resources. Gilberts’ components are designed and manufactured in the UK, at the company’s 90,000sq ft Blackpool headquarters.