What Makes ETFE Better Than Glass?


Glass has been one of the most popular traditional materials being used in the construction industry since decades. However, with the invention of ETFE, glass has seen a sharp decline in the construction of many transparent structures because of the amazing properties that ETFE has, while providing the same transparency as glass. It has multiple benefits over glass, which we are going to cover in this blog. However, it is very important that you purchase high quality products from the most reliable name in the industry. Tuflite Polymers is one of the most reputed and dependable ETFE suppliers in India, who has partnered with the leader in ETFE materials – Vector Foiltec – to provide the Indian subcontinent with the best-in-class ETFE sheets and cushions.

ETFE is light in weight

ETFE is very light in weight as compared to glass. This means that it requires less supporting structure, meaning lesser costs involved in steel or concrete supports!

ETFE is flexible

Glass is brittle and rigid. It cannot be shaped into domes or circular shaped roofs, which is why it is used only as flat panels. On the other hand, ETFE is highly flexible, malleable, and ductile. This material can be stretched and elongated up to 200-300% more than its original size, which is why it can be used to create a variety of designs.

ETFE is very cost-effective

One of the major aspects for any kind of construction is the cost involved. A glass construction is comparatively a costlier investment than an ETFE structure. This is because a standard ETFE cushion has much better U-value than triple-glazed glass. In fact, ETFE cushions can be installed for approximately half the price of high-performance glass!

ETFE is easy to maintain

It is very easy to maintain an ETFE sheet due to the self-cleaning nature of the material. ETFE cushions don’t attract dust due to the smooth and anti-adhesive properties of the foil. And, during the rains, any kinds of bird droppings are also washed away. This means that not only is maintenance easy, but the maintenance costs are lower too.

ETFE is easy to repair

If glass cracks or breaks, the entire sheet will have to replaced. But, this is not the case with ETFE. A single sheet of ETFE made with numerous cushions can be repaired, instead of being entirely replaced. If a single panel of the cushion is damaged, there is no need to replace the entire sheet. Only the single panel can be removed and replaced, leaving the remaining structure intact. This also saves on a lot of time.

A larger size of ETFE can be used

In general, the largest size of a piece of toughened glass that can be used is 4m X 2m. Conversely, the air-filled cushions of ETFE can reach up to a massive 25m X 3.5m, or even more! This is the best property for building large structures, wherein minimum joints are required while providing maximum aesthetic value.

ETFE is secure against fire

ETFE is self-extinguishing. This means that in the event of a fire, the cushions don’t burn; instead, they shrink away from the fire, allowing the fire and smoke to vent into the atmosphere. Therefore, any people within the structure won’t be at any risk of debris being burnt and falling inside. Also, the chemical composition of ETFE does not allow combustion, which means that no unexpected explosions are observed when the fire comes in contact with oxygen. This property is the main reason why so many airports, railway stations, and other public spaces across the globe are using ETFE.