Thursday, 7 December 2017

How Has ETFE Proved To Be Successfully Used In Large Scale Projects?

Initially invented by DuPont in the 1930s as an insulation material for the aeronautics industry, and introduced by German engineer, Stefan Lehnert, in the 1980s as a building material, ETFE was not initially considered as a mainstream construction material. But, its remarkable properties have brought it the fame and popularity that it has achieved today.

ETFE is light in weight, yet durable, and has a very long life. It has amazing tear resistance, translucency, and flexibility. Moreover, it is very environmental-friendly, architecturally aesthetic and cost-effective. In contrast to glass and other traditional materials, ETFE offers an exciting opportunity to incorporate elements that are aesthetically different and can create an ultimately modern and clean looking space. When built as roofing or walls, ETFE can bring in maximum natural light and build an open feeling with no need of additional internal lighting.

Over the past twenty years, the awareness of the material has highly increased, and its uses are rapidly boosting up for designers and architects worldwide. In fact, ETFE is being widely used in a wide range of projects like schools, offices, government buildings, sports facilities, airports, railways stations, etc. When large sized spaces are required to be built, it poses a very huge challenge for manufacture and installation. But, with ETFE, it becomes possible. Let us take a look at the various huge structures that have been successfully built with ETFE.

Radclyffe School, England
The street at Radclyffe School in England is covered with single ply ETFE. The atrium area, which forms the intersection of 5 school buildings, needed to be enclosed with a covering to provide an open dry space for students and staff to gather. After lots of consideration, single ply ETFE was decided upon for the purpose.

North-West Bus Station, Westfield White City, East London
Appearance and practicality is what was required at the bus interchange at Westfield White City shopping development in East London.  This bus interchange forms one of the main entrances to the shopping complex, which is why these requirements are important. To suit these requirements, ETFE sheets have been used, which provide shelter as well as weather protection.

Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok
The Bangkok Airport has used an ETFE fabric cover to reflect sunlight and control the temperature within. The shape of the structure traps more heat near the roof, enabling the floor and bottom half of the structure to stay cool and provide comfort to the travelers and staff. This airport structure covers around 1 million square feet, which is 23 acres!

ITE College, Ang Mo Kio
Institute of Technology and Education College in Ang Mo Kio comprises of six ETFE canopies – four making the fly roof area (Pod Garden Canopies), and two circular and elliptical roofs forming an amphitheater where public events take place. Pod Garden Canopies required a material that allowed UV light penetration for allowing plant growth and photosynthesis. ETFE thus proved the ideal solution as a transparent material allowing UV light transmission and adequate shading and thermal comfort to the pedestrians.

National Stadium, Singapore
One of the biggest innovative iconic projects of Singapore, the National Stadium roof spanning 310m and housing 55,000 people at public and sports events, is made up of two layers – ETFE moving roof supported on runway trusses and operating above an aluminum standing seam fixed roof.

Looking at the success of all these commercial spaces, more and more commercial as well as residential areas are being built up with ETFE. If you are looking for building a structure with ETFE too, get in touch with Tuflite Polymers, one of the leading ETFE suppliersin India, who has partnered with Vector Foiltec to provide the Indian sub-continent with the best quality ETFE foils and cushions.

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