Broadwell Cable Harness System

Broadwell Cable Harness System

Broadwell’s cable harness system is a netting of cable that goes over the entire fabric envelope and attaches to the dome foundation. It covers the entire dome, distributing the forces acting on the fabric of the dome evenly across the entire structure.

Patented Cable Harness System

Pulleys adjust the cable harness system as forces act on the dome, thus constantly maintaining even force distribution. This alleviates a tremendous amount of pressure and force the fabric must handle, thus extending the durability of the fabric envelope.

As a result, Broadwell’s domes have a useful life around 5 years longer than domes without our full cable harness system. Other domes that have only a few cables to reinforce the fabric do not distribute forces evenly, and don’t provide any reinforcement to the fabric corners of the dome.

The dangerous problem with this is that the fabric alone cannot handle nearly the internal pressure as when it is reinforced by the cable harness system. One of the simplest and clearest illustrations of this is Broadwell’s test of how much pressure a balloon can handle when inflated alone, then when reinforced with a netting similar to our cable harness system. As you can see from the pictures, the net reinforcement nearly triples the balloon's ability to withstand internal pressure. You can view a video of this balloon test below. This is critical when understanding how much snow load a dome can handle.


How Do Our Domes Perform With The Snow?

Many dome companies do not even engineer their domes to withstand the weight of any accumulated snow, contending that all snow will slide off the dome. However, every dome has a nearly flat surface on top, which will always accumulate snow. One of the widely accepted air dome industry methods for protecting a dome when a heavy snow fall is predicted is to increase the internal pressure of the dome. Fabric alone cannot handle nearly as high internal pressures as fabric supported by the cable harness system. Thus, air dome pressure in Broadwell’s domes can be higher than any dome without our cable harness system, creating a much more rigid and strong structure capable of handling much higher snow loads.

When it comes to wind, domes without our cable harness will experience tremendous movement, often causing internal hang lights to sway violently. The video to the left shows this happening to a dome without a cable harness system. It also shows the wind tunnel tests we conducted on our cable harness design.

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Watch the following videos to learn more our cable harness!

Dome Components


Our domes are comprised of various mechanical elements. Click on the following links to learn more about what pieces make up our domes: