SpillPro on 30 January 2017

Spill containment booms typically come in four types

In Australia, there are four common types of containment boom. Foam-Filled, Inflatable and Self-Inflating, Fire Booms, and Trash and Debris Booms.

Each is designed for the containment of a different kind of spill. And while they function differently, their purpose is the same, to effectively and safely contain waterborne spills.

Which containment booms will be suitable for your operation will depend on your business. As well as the kind of oils, chemicals and pollutants used and stored on your work-site.

This article will discuss the four types of containment booms and where they are commonly applied.

Prefer to see our range of containment boom products? Visit our containment booms page.

4. Foam-Filled Containment Booms

containment boom foam filled at sea

A foam-filled containment boom deployed at sea.

Foam-Filled Containment Booms are constructed from high buoyancy foam sealed within a reinforced fabric pocket, which prevents damage to the foam.

The lightweight construction allows the boom to be quickly and easily deployed. Which makes these types of containment boom ideal for where speed of deployment is essential.

Foam-Filled Containment Booms can be used:

  • Near shore
  • Offshore
  • Streams and canals
  • Calm water
  • Fast currents

More than capable of containing spilt oils and fuels, Foam Filled Containment Booms are suitable for most general use applications. Including in shipping, transport, mining, defence, oil and gas industries.

Find out more on our Foam-Fitted Containment Booms page.

3. Inflatable and Self-Inflating Booms

inflatable containment boom foam filled at sea

An inflatable Airmax containment boom.

Inflatable and Self-Inflatable Booms are both made from a strong, high-visibility fabric. Upon deployment, they are filled with air via a high capacity air blower or by automatic self-inflation.

Deflated they take up substantially less space than other types of containment boom. This makes them a good choice for where storage space is limited, as they can be stored compactly on boom reels.

Inflatable and Self-Inflatable Booms can be used in:

  • Rivers
  • Beaches, harbours and ports
  • Offshore
  • Open water
  • Deep water

Able to be deployed quickly from shore or water, Self-Inflatable Booms are suitable for range of industries. Including for defence, shipping, marine and offshore, industrial, and oil and gas industries.

Find out more on our Inflatable and Self-Inflating Booms page.

2. Fire Booms

fire boom containment boom foam filled at sea

A fire boom deployed at sea.

When it comes to controlled burns, there is really only one choice. A Fire Boom is essential for effectively controlling oil spills during in-situ burning (IB).

Connected to water pumps, large amounts of water are pumped through and over the boom during operation. This stops flames from burning and damaging the boom. Thereby ensuring a fireproof seal.

Fire Booms can be used:

  • Offshore
  • Open Water
  • Deep sea

With their highly heat-resistant and water-cooled design, fire booms can assist in the disposal of large amounts of oil quickly and completely while also minimising oil collection costs.

Find out more on our Fire Booms page.

1. Trash and Debris Booms

trash debris containment boom

A trash and debris exclusion barrier can collect floating rubbish from waterways.

Trash and Debris Booms passively collect rubbish and waste debris using the force of a waterway's current. They can continue to operate with very maintenance. Simply install and remove when required.

These types of containment boom can collect a range of garbage. From plastic bags, to drift wood, bottles, aquatic plant debris, and more. It can thereby assist in creating a cleaner and healthier waterway.

Trash and Debris Booms can be used in:

  • Rivers
  • Lakes
  • Harbours
  • Calm water

Because Trash and Debris Booms provide a passive method of waste collection they are often cheaper than the alternatives. Once deployed, they remove the need for ongoing and expensive clearing operations.

Trash and Debris Booms are available in flexible PVC, and steel variants for combating high loads in difficult conditions, such as in strong currents.

Find out more on our Trash and Debris Booms page.

"Which containment booms will be suitable for your operation will depend on your business."

About the author

SpillPro is one of Australia's leading suppliers of precision spill management technology. We've been in the industry for 40 years and over that time we've built our reputation on reliable and innovative products.

Whatever your business' spill containment needs, we can create for you a complete end-to-end solution. We'll ensure you're always ready for spills, when and where they happen.

To learn more, visit our containment booms page or call 1800 368 450