ETFE foil

Elegant Minimalism

 

Our most frequently used film material for load-bearing walls, roofs, or claddings, is the co-polymer structure Ethyltetrafluoroethylene (ETFE). ETFE foils can meet the  highest aesthetics standards, combined with environmental friendliness. This allows a variety of designs to be created, which display incomparable lightness and elegance and can be regarded as expressing a unique architectural language. ETFE has high transparency and excellent mechanical properties (high tensile and tear strength) and can therefore be used for load-bearing applications. ETFE is one of the most stable chemical compounds in existence and is thus ideal for outside use. It is self-cleaning, resistant to environmental attack, possessing heat and weather resistant as well as long-term UV-resistance. ETFE does not absorb short-wave UV radiation and consequently does not become embrittled or subject to colour change as a function of age.

Environmental Compatibility

ETFE membranes are 100% recyclable. Furthermore, ETFE has at typical application thicknesses has an extremely low mass which is about 1/40 that of glass.

 

 

Further Foil Materials

For special applications we can use other films with equivalent quality and precision characteristics to ETFE:

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) film is, with its relatively low strength, generally chosen for indoor applications. Structures can be assembled either by glueing or by welding.

Polyethylene (PE) film is an appropriate choice of material for temporary buildings or greenhouses. It has high light transmission but only short-term UV stability.

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) films are self-cleaning, UV stable and very resistant to chemical attack. These films are best used as laminate sheet of glass and mesh fabrics.

Tetrafluoroethylene-hexafluoropropylene-vinylidene fluoride (THV) films are similar to those of ETFE, but THV films are significantly more resilient than ETFE. The relatively lower tensile strength of the material reduces the number of potential applications.

Handling

ETFE foils are thermal fusion welded together after being cut to size and shape. This is done by application of controlled temperatures and pressures. Hightex owns the latest ETFE welding machines for reliable production of the finished membrane. For special cases laser welding and bonding can be used.

Construction Methods

ETFE foils are used as roof, facade, and building cushion constructions offering unlimited design options. The cushions can be mechanically tensioned as single or multi-layered structures. Pneumatic structures are stabilised by permanent air- power delivery systems.

Further Information

For more information on ETFE membranes please contact us. As a capable and efficient partner we will be delighted to help you.

Lifespan

Being one of the most stable organic compounds ETFE is therefore resistant to a variety of environmental factors. In consequence lifespans in excess of 20 years are possible.

Fire Classification

ETFE membrane is incombustible (Building material class DIN 4102 B1) and does not burn by droplet formation (DIN EN 13501-1: B-s1, d0, UL 94: V0). In addition, fire loads are very low as a result of the low mass and thickness values (between 0.08 and 0.2 mm). This has been corroborated by appropriate tests.

Thermal Insulation

Very low U values can be achieved by trapping air multilayer film structures.

·       For single-layer membranes ≈ 5.1 W / m² K

·       For two-ply membranes ≈ 3.5 W / m² K 

·       For three-ply membranes ≈ 2.0 W / m² K
·       For four-ply membranes ≈ 1.5 W / m² K

The values quoted above are approximations as they may vary as a function of the details of the structure. The insertion of non-woven translucent materials allows the thermal properties of the films to be increased still further.

Colouring, Printing and Coating

ETFE foils generally have high transparency. We are able to offer white and coloured foils by the addition of pigments. The foil can be colored with patterns so as to control both transmission and reflection properties. Membranes coated with metallic, ceramic or organic low-E materials allow the production of both sun protection and mirror effects. If you are interested in these special performances we would be pleased to advise you.

Material Thickness and Width

ETFE foils can be manufactured in thicknesses between 50µm and 350µm. For medium or large area projects we generally use 250µm in roll widths of approximately 1.50m.