General fact about ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) in tensile membrane structure

ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) and its use in tensile membrane structures.

  • Material Properties:
    • Fluoropolymer material used in tensile membrane construction.
    • Thickness ranges from 0.05 to 0.25 mm.
    • High transparency and tear resistance.
    • Long service life (up to 50 years).
  • History and Applications:
    • Invented by DuPont for the aerospace industry.
    • Increasingly used in construction for cladding, walls, and roofs.
    • Early used in greenhouses (agriculture) and require frequent replacement of polyethylene sheets .
  • Advantages for Tensile Membranes:
    • “Pillow design”: Creates lightweight, modular structures.
    • Cost-efficient solutions: Simple and efficient construction methods.
    • Geometric design flexibility: Allows for various shapes.
    • Single or double layer options: Single layer for basic applications, double layers-five layers(“pillow”) for inflated structures added pattern and climate control.
    • Air pressure control: Maintained between 200-750 Pa for stability depending on design, loads and location.

Additional Points to Consider:

  • Sustainability: While durable, the environmental impact of ETFE production and disposal needs to be considered during the design and lifecycle assessment of a project.
  • Maintenance: Regular cleaning and inspections on pressure are necessary to maintain transparency and performance.
  • Fire Safety: Fire safety regulations for ETFE in building applications must be addressed.
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