Benefits of ETFE Membrane Material
Posted: Oct 21, 2019
ETFE membrane, the abbreviation of Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene, is one of the most common fabric materials of tensile structure. Compared to other tension membrane materials like PVC or PTFE, the ETFE foil is a highly translucent fabric, up to incredible 95%. You can imagine the possibilities of working with a building material that offered similar light transmission as glass but with only 1% of the weight. Therefore in the designs that need to incorporate more natural light, many architects use ETFE film as a dynamic, durable, and cost-effective alternative to glass. Let's explore the reasons why ETFE is gaining popularity in the tension fabric structure industry.
Wide range of applications of ETFE membrane
We know that ETFE film material is widely used in the architecture construction due to its features, the various applications include but certainly not limited to:
- Tensile roofs and coverings for indoor and outdoor spaces
- Covered walkways, entryways and waiting areas
- Replacing the glass of windows and skylights
- Tensile facade panels and exterior cladding
- Greenhouses, geodesic domes and agricultural centers
- Air-filled or pneumatic cushions of tensile structures
- Solutions for earthquake prone locations
Great benefits of ETFE membrane
In order to help you evaluate whether the ETFE foil is the best-suited membrane material for your next tensioned membrane structure project (although the professional designer will give you the most appropriate recommendation), the following is a quick overview of ETFE's many benefits for you in case you want to start accessing the pros and cons of all the membrane materials of tensile structure architecture.
Like PVC and PTFE membrane materials, the ETFE film also has an amazing life expectancy. According to the test results of some material laboratories, the ETFE has a lifespan of 40-50 years without degradation, loss of strength, becoming brittle, or discoloring. In addition, ETFE is generally unaffected by UV rays, contamination and weathering.
Although ETFE foil is a kind of fluorine-based plastic polymer material, but it's very eco-friendly. The membrane is 100% recyclable, so is ideal for environmentally conscious projects. Moreover, the lightweight nature of ETFE foil material for tensile structure project can reduce the amount of supported framework materials significantly. So reduces construction waste and lowers the amount of carbon necessary to transport the materials to the project site.
3. Light transmission
As mentioned above, ETFE membrane is up to 95% transparent so it's a perfect alternative to glass. In addition, it can transmit UV light without being damaged by it. So this membrane is becoming more and more popular for greenhouse and other tensioned fabric structure architecture projects that need access to natural light.
4. Energy efficiency
Because ETFE film is highly access to natural light, so you can feel the warmth of the sun in winter, thus saving heating costs. In hot summer, you can also apply surface treatment by printing, fritting and tinting to ETFE foil to reflect the heat of UV rays, thereby reducing solar heat gain and saving on air conditioning costs.
ETFE membrane as a building material meets many of the strictest safety codes and standards. It maintains its strength in extreme hot/cold environments, is self-extinguishing in the event of a fire, and has a relatively high melting temperature.
6. Minimum maintenance
ETFE membrane is a very low-maintenance material in construction industry. You must have heard of self-cleaning materials like TiO2 PTFE membrane. ETFE is very close to this material. Its low friction coefficient on the surface can prevent dust and dirt from sticking so need very little cleaning, and it’s highly resistant to corrosion.
Tensile membrane structure is an economical option compared to traditional building technology. The ETFE film material is not only lighter than glass, bu also much less expensive than glass. Also, the lightweight tension membrane means less load on the supporting structure, which translates into major cost-reductions in the necessary structural framework. In addition, if a tear or puncture occurs, you don't have to replace the entire membrane, this can usually be patched.
If you want to know whether the ETFE foil is the best choice for your new tensile fabric roof project, please contact Lanao Membrane Structure and we can talk about the details.
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