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Oil Containment Boom FAQs

Oil Containment Boom FAQs


How do oil containment booms work?

Oil containment booms float at the surface where oil has been spilled, containing an oil slick. They are one of the first tools used in oil spill control and cleanup, creating a flexible barrier that can be used to protect certain environments and property from oil spills.


What parts make up an oil containment boom?

The three main components that make up the oil containment boom are the float, skirt, and ballast. The float rests at the water surface. Floats are typically made of closed cell, polyethylene foam, which is highly buoyant and will not take on water. Depending on the needs of the spill, the containment boom float size will vary between 2-1/2 inches in diameter, to over 18 inches. The other component of the oil containment boom is the skirt, which is made of a heavy-duty, highly durable fabric extending below the float. The boom skirt size will also vary with the needs of the cleanup job. The ballast is a weight, typically a chain at the bottom of the skirt, which keeps the boom vertical in the water. A tension member, usually a cable that carries tension loads, may be required.


How are oil containment booms beneficial?

Oil containment booms offer many benefits in oil spill control and cleanup. Once of the first steps of oil cleanup is containing the spread of the slick by using oil containment booms. Once deployed, oil containment booms are used to contain an oil slick. Oil containment booms are highly effective and easy to customize.


How are oil containment booms categorized?

When discussing oil containment booms, it is important to understand the operating environment of the spill. Offshore or open water environments will require specific oil containment booms. These typically have larger floats, longer skirts, and heavier ballasts. Locations that typically have limited waves, tides, or harsh conditions can usually be taken care of with inland or near-shore oil containment boom. Perma Booms are specialized oil containment booms built to last when the situation calls for long-term use.


Can oil containment booms be used anywhere?

Oil containment booms are designed to be used in aquatic environments, and can be used in many operating environments. Stagnant, shallow, or slow moving environments can be cleaned up using super mini oil containment booms. Inland or near-shore oil containment booms are designed for use in most standard situations, including lakes, ponds, small rivers, or protected harbors. High wind, large wave, or fast moving current locations will benefit from open water containment booms.


How do I know what type of oil containment boom to use?

Once an oil spill occurs, the first step is to choose the correct size of oil containment boom for the cleanup. Cleanup crews should evaluate the situation, taking into account wind patterns, wave height, water depth and current speeds. Moderate conditions call for inland and near-shore oil containment booms. Extreme conditions including large waves, high wind, fast moving currents, or generally unpredictable locations are best suited for open water oil containment booms.


What types of fabric are available for oil containment booms?

For standard applications, AMCE’s oil containment booms are made of Jaton coated fabric. Our standard nylon coated fabric helps oil containment booms stand up against tears, punctures, or other damage. Jaton coated fabric is available in standard orange or international yellow. For oil containment boom used in areas with excessive hydrocarbon or UV exposure, consider our Jaton Plus coated fabric. The heavy duty fabric comes standard in orange and provides superior protection, helping extend the life of the oil containment boom by up to 50%.


What options does ACME offer for customized oil containment booms?

When selecting an oil containment boom, it is important to have a product that precisely matches the needs of the job. ACME offers several options for customization to help make that possible. Some of our options for customization include floatation sizes, skirt lengths, chain ballast sizes, fabric types, tension cable and type, and connector type. Contact us today to discuss your customized oil containment boom needs.


Does ACME carry oil containment boom accessories?

Yes, ACME supplies a full line of oil containment boom accessories. For those looking for oil containment boom storage, we carry reels and storage box options, as well as customized trailer packages. We also carry several anchoring systems to keep boom in place when needed. Many accessories can be customized to suit individual needs.

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