ETFE (Ethylen Tetrafluoroethylen) is a material with fluoro-polymer quality. It was developed by Dupont company for aircraft industry, but has turned into a product used in today's architecture for its light permeability and lightness. It is generally applied in the form of 2- or 3-layered inflatable airbags or sometimes as a single wall. The ETFE material is quite thin and lightweight. It weighs nearly 1% of the glass, and has become more prominent as it has more light permeability, the self-cleaning feature and convenience of application. The strength is highly increased when an air-inflation system is used in ETFE systems.
The ETFE systems are assembled with special Aluminum profiles on a carrier carcass system. The system is fed by blowers in inflatable cushion systems, and the bearing function of the ETFE inflatable cushion systems is continuously enabled by re-activation of the system in case of a leakage or an extra pressure requirement.
It is required to take into consideration the climatic conditions, aesthetic, acoustic and environmental factors while designing the ETFE systems. Form, printed or 2- or 3-layered ETFE inflatable cushions must be used based on the requirement&service criteria.
Advantages of ETFE
The 3-layered ETFE inflatable system weighs around 2-3 kg/m2 in average with the connection aluminums. This feature has an advantage incomparable to glass.
This feature enables covering long spans by a lightweight carrying system. Therefore, when considered with carrying infrastructure, it provides much more economic solutions.
2. High Heat Insulatıon,
It has a better insulation than 6-12-6 double-glazing by a U value of 1.9W/m2 K.
3. High Light Transmission
A single-wall ETFE has a light permeability around 85-90%. It provides light to outdoor areas like outdoor settings. Moreover, the light permeability level can be partially controlled by use of spotted films.
It continues its structural resistance although it can extend by up to 600% until it is torn. Its tensile strength limit can reach up to 21-23N/mm2. Its tear limit is 52N/mm2 and considered 15 n/mm2 in structural calculations.
5. Self Cleaning
It cleans itself even in a small amount of rain since substances like dust, etc. do not stick on its surface. The fact that the systems can be cleaned by rain water reduces the costs of periodical maintenance and cleaning.
6. Long Life
It has a life span of more than approximately 25 years due to its durability against UV, air pollution and environmental conditions.
ETFE films have an acoustic permeability of 70%.
8. Fire Resistance
DIN 4102 Class B1
EN 13501-1 Class B-s1,d0
NFP 92-505 M2
NFPA 701 Pass
The most preferred coating type in modern stadiums
Due to light-transparency, longlasting and easy-self-cleaning advantages it offers it is highly preferred in modern architecture for roof coverings.
ETFE film applications are generally applied in 3 ways. Single wall (tensile), double-wall and 3-wall inflatable cushions. While ETFE film layers can be spotted-printed or fully transparent, special patterns can also be printed upon request. In general, upper and lower sections are printed while the middle section is transparent in the 3-layer cushion system applications.
In inflatable cushion systems, blowing machines called blowers, which blow according to the air pressure in the cushion, are used. Air circulation is provided by the air pipes connected to the cushions.