Thursday, 18 January 2018
Which Issues Must Be Addressed Before Installing ETFE
ETFE is one of the most magical construction materials made by man till date. With its tensile strength, durability, fluidity, ease of installation, energy saving capability, amazing light transmission competence, and cost-effectiveness, it becomes an ideal architectural choice. However, when something has so many benefits all encompassed into one, there is definitely a loophole somewhere. No! We are not saying that there is an issue with the material. But, you need to know that this amazing material needs to be used in a particular way to avoid any issues later on. There are certain limitations to use this material. Used in the wrong way for the wrong projects can make ETFE an extremely problematic architectural choice.
Considering design and engineering
The design and engineering of ETFE roofs should be one that translates the architect’s design, while also providing the structure with durability and tensile strength. Also, there should be easy access for maintenance, temperature control, and cushion replacement. There are many who will always focus more on design and costs, rather than the aspects of safety. Remember that extreme situations of storm can cause damage and deflation of poorly installed ETFE cushions. This is why you must be very stern while installing ETFE in the right way. You should always be looking for maximizing the design and engineering to ensure operational lifespan and compliance with all weather loads.
Considering deflation issues
It is a known fact that ETFE cushions can be punctured and deflated. The likeliness of this issue increases if the material is incorrectly fabricated. Therefore, if the material is designed and specified correctly, the risk of ETFE deflation can be minimized or even eliminated. For this, the desired shape and size of ETFE sheets should be cut and welded together to create an airtight seam. Because this is a generally a manual process, it is almost impossible to create a uniform seam that is perfectly bonded. Therefore, over time, this causes separation of layers, leading to air leakage and deflation. This is why you must rely on an automated fabrication system if you are using this for larger sized projects because larger ETFE installations are difficult to inspect and repair compared to smaller projects.
Considering ETFE condensation
ETFE installed in humid climates can be easily overwhelmed. In such cases, condensation within the ETFE structures cannot be easily removed, thus forming puddles inside the cushion itself. And, if this issue becomes stagnant, it will result in significant discoloration. Therefore, if the ETFE needs to be used in humid climates, it is advisable to use single ETFE sheets and not cushions.
Considering solar control issues
ETFE sheets allow maximum sunlight to enter the structure, which is why see large scale ETFE installations being done across the world. However, ETFE is not a great material to let the resulting heat build-up to escape. So, this fact must be considered too, and that too, at the beginning of the design stage. Any alterations made later can add up to the costs involved. Solutions like printing one side of the cushions, or utilizing internal movable layers can alter the degree of light penetration and can thus help control temperature build up.
If all of these issues are considered and taken care of well in advance in the design stage, before installation, there can be nothing better than ETFE. So, consider all these issues and you will have the best ETFE structures built. And, to get the best quality ETFE sheets or cushions, you can get in touch with Tuflite Polymers, one of the most reliable ETFE suppliers in India, who partner with the renowned Vector Foiltec to provide the Indian subcontinent with high quality ETFE.