Friday, 2 February 2018

How Has ETFE Evolved Over The Years?

ETFE is going publically popular, and is being used to construct world famous structures like Beijing National Aquatics Center, Germany Allianz Arena, Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center, Mexico Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Newport Railway Station, and many others. So, what is the reason behind such popularity?

Qualities of ETFE
ETFE has a multitude of great qualities including transparency, durability, lightweight (only 1% the weight of glass), brilliant appearance, flexibility (ability to stretch to three times its length), puncture resistance, fire resistance, and energy efficiency – all clubbed into one. Moreover, it is available as both thin sheets and inflated cushions. Furthermore, using ETFE can reduce project costs from 10 to 60%, making the material highly cost-effective!

Because of all these properties and many other qualities, ETFE has been leaving behind other traditional transparent materials like glass, fiberglass, and acrylic. Invented in the 1970s, this material has come a long way, and today stands as a highly competitive building material in the construction industry. Let us see how it was invented and how it slowly and gradually reached the heights that it is at today.

History of ETFE
It all began when DuPont first synthesized Teflon PTFE in 1938, which had very low friction characteristics and outstanding chemical resistance. This PTFE paved the way for the development of ETFE. Later, in the early 1970s, DuPont and Hoechst introduced the first commercially extruded ETFE foils under the brand names Tefzel and Hostaflon. Simultaneously, German-based Stefan Lehnert came across this material, and realized that the resin of this material could be spun into a durable thin film, with the ability to contract and expand. He then started experimenting with the material. In 1982, Lehnert founded Vector Foiltec to bring the technology of ETFE into the building material arena.

Applications of ETFE
This material was first used in a pavilion roof of a Holland zoo, and a decade later, ETFE was used in other roofing applications in England and Germany too. But, it was only in the year 2000 that the Eden Project brought attention to ETFE’s engineering potential. Ever since, this material has only been expanding in usage across the globe, and today, the world is catching on the possibilities of ETFE. Today, Vector Foiltec has 12 locations around the world, and is working on more than 100 projects with ETFE as the building material. And, taking advantage of this, Tuflite Polymers, who has been one of the leading polycarbonatesuppliers in India today, partnered with the company to provide the Indian subcontinent with the finest quality ETFE foils and ETFE cushions. Hence, if you are looking to build your structures with ETFE, you can approach Tuflite Polymers to provide you with the finest quality material.

Today, ETFE can be used to build a variety of constructions like aquariums, sports facilities, arenas, as well as indoor water parks and indoor rain forests. Because it is available in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, finishes, and patterns, it is being seen as the most versatile material by designers and architects alike.

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