What Has Made ETFE So Popular?


ETFE foils are becoming one of the most popular materials in today’s designing and construction industry. It is highly being used in a wide range of projects like schools, offices, sports facilities, and government buildings. ETFE foils are plastic polymers that are created by taking the polymer resin and extruding it into a thin film. By inflating two or more such layers of ETFE foils, cushions are formed by tensioning them into a single skin membrane. Both single membranes and cushions are extremely light in weight, weighing only 1% the weight of glass. Such light weight reduces the structural frame work and imposes very less load on the supporting structure. This ultimately reduces the amount of steel and materials used, and also adds to the cost benefits for clients.

ETFE foils have high translucency with approximately 95% of light transmittance power. They are thus used as a replacement for glazing due to this high light transmission property. However, when such high level of light transmission is not required, these foils are printed or fritted with patterns to reduce the solar gain while retaining transparency. For further designing creativity, one outer and one inner layer of multi-layer ETFE cushion systems can be printed to allow light transmission to be varied; thus adjusting the shading coefficient. Another design aspect they can be used as is that the ETFE cushions can be internally lit with LED lighting to make them glow and create dramatic results.

ETFE foils are highly durable materials that are unaffected by UV light, atmospheric pollution, and other forms of environmental weathering. In fact, there durability is such that they can last from somewhere between 25-40 years! It is the properties of strength, extraordinary tear resistance, long life, transparency to UV light, and structural properties that has made it so popular, and living in existence since the past 20 years. Moreover, ETFE foils are 100% recyclable and require minimal energy for transportation and installation. In this way, they prove to be a significant contribution towards green construction and sustainability; thus being highly eco-friendly.

With 20 years down the line having made ETFE one of the industry’s most sought after materials, you may wonder what more the future holds for it. You may also think that the development is enough, but no! There is still lots of development to be done. Various high-tech coatings and methods of printing are yet to come up to modify the various properties of the material. The number of layers will be increased, nanogels will be incorporated, thermal properties will be increased, more internal settings will be discovered, and a lot more will still be done. All these developments are sure to move ETFE into wider product areas. Today, the material is being excessively used in various applications like airport, indoor sports halls, swimming pools, etc. We just have to wait and see which all applications incorporate ETFE in the future. If you are looking to utilize this amazing material into any constructional application, make sure you get the best-in-class ETFE from Tuflite Polymers, one of the leading ETFE suppliers in India.