Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) is a fluorine-based plastic polymer that offers a creative and lightweight alternative to glass. Developed over 40 years ago by DuPont, ETFE has similar light transmission to glass, but at just 1% of the weight. With a lifespan of over 30 years and excellent weathering properties, ETFE film is becoming the material of choice for a outdoor and outdoor/indoor spaces in a variety of climates. An ETFE cushion application, using multiple layers of ETFE with air-filled pneumatic cavities, works extremely well for fully enclosed thermal envelopes.
Single-layer ETFE: ETFE raw granulate is extruded into a single layer of film or foil. The film is tensioned on a lightweight aluminum framing.
ETFE Cushions: Either two or three layers of ETFE film are layered with a “cushion” of air between each later. The resulting ETFE cushions are tensioned on lightweight aluminum structures. Because of their thermal insulation and structural stability, ETFE cushions are ideal for projects in cold weather locations. Where necessary, the project design can incorporate sensors that will trigger additional air inflation in the face of additional wind or snow load. ETFE cushions can also be referred to as “double-layer ETFE” or “triple-layer ETFE.”
ETFE has many benefits, ranging from environmental sustainability to creative design options.
Durability benefits of ETFE
Environmental benefits of ETFE
Maintenance benefits of ETFE
Design benefits of ETFE
Safety benefits of ETFE
We are pleased to have collaborated with KieranTimberlake and the outfit of a parking structure on the Rice University Campus. In their blog post, they describe the concepts they employed to create an iconic sculptural element. For more details see the KieranTimberlake blog post.The Increasing Importance of Durability
While tensile fabric has several distinct advantages over more traditional materials like glass, one of the most important may be its ability to withstand severe weather events. Our tensile structures and tensile facades in Miami, Jacksonville, Houston, Fort Worth, Waco, and Atlanta did not sustain any damage or require any repair despite enduring events ranging […]