ETFE Foil Tension Structure Design and Construction

ETFE Foil

ETFE is copolymer, of ethylene and tetrafluoroethylene. It's refined from seawater which includes 25% ethylene and 75% tetrafluoroethylene. It belongs to PTFE fluorine polymer. It shows the excellent features, and is used in various applications.

The durable film is highly transparent and very lightweight in comparison to glass structures. In fact, ETFE film generates 95% of the same light as glass, but weights just 1% its weight.

Single Layered Structures (mechanically pre-stressed)
ETFE can be applied in a single layered membrane and tensioned with either wire cables, light weight steel or aluminum to maintain shape and stability.

Double or Triple Layered Structures (pneumatically pre-stressed)
In two or more layers, a pneumatic cushion is created that is then attached using aluminum extrusions and supported by a lightweight structure. These cushions are filled with low-pressure air, providing thermal insulation and structural stability against wind or snow loads. If needed, small cables can be used for additional tensioning and support. Under typical loading conditions, ETFE cushions can range from 5 to 15 feet wide and reach up to 200 feet in length.

Key Benefits of ETFE Foil:
  • Single layer structures (mechanical pre-stressed)
  • Double or multi-layer system (pneumatical pre-stressed)
  • High permeability to light in the visual and UV wave range
  • Great chemical resistance to acids and alkali
  • Light transmission up to 94 %
  • Clear or white, limited colour
  • Printable (e.g. sun protection)
  • Self-cleaning because of very good anti-adhesive surface properties
  • Light-weight material comparing to e.g. PC, PMMA , Glass)
  • Weldable with specially designed machines
  • Complete recyclability
  • Long life of more than 30 years