What Makes ETFE Superior To Other Similar Materials?
ETFE roofs are available as both single layers membranes supported by cable net systems, and cushions made up of 2-5 layers of ETFE sheets. The cushions are kept continually pressurized by a small inflation unit that maintains the pressure at approximately 220 Pa, thus providing insulation.
ETFE is a naturally transparent material that transmits light across the entire visible light region, that is, 380-780 nm. A single layered ETFE membrane has approximately 85% light transmission, while an ETFE cushion has reduced amount of light transmission property. However, in both cases, the plants and vegetation underneath the ETFE structure thrive and grow well. This is because a large proportion of infra red light transmitted is absorbed by the ETFE.
While a single layered ETFE membrane can provide a good amount of insulation, the standard triple layer cushion can provide better insulation. More the layers, better the insulation. This insulation can also be improved by treating the foil with specialist coatings to enhance its thermal property.
Because ETFE is unaffected by UV light, pollution, and other environmental weathering, it has excellent life expectancy. Because of these properties, no degradation, discolouration, loss of strength, or fragility can take place. All of this can let ETFE to have a life expectancy of more than 50 years.
ETFE can be treated in a number of ways to alter its light transmission properties, like printing, tinting, radiation, and her surface treatments.
Printing – ETFE is covered with a variety of patterns to reduce solar gain, while retaining its translucency.
Tinting – Coloured ETFE foils can be used to reduce glare
Radiation – Radiation treatments can reduce the level of infrared and ultraviolet rays transmitting through the membrane skin.
Surface treatments – Surface treatments can be undertaken during the manufacturing process to vary the properties of ETFE like light transmission.
G value is the fraction of solar energy transmittance through glazing, which is expressed between the values 0 to 1. Higher the number, more the energy transmitted through the glazing, and more the structure will get heated up. A 2 layer ETFE cushion can have a G value of as less as 0.48, and a 3 layer cushion can have a value of 0.35. Compare this with the 0.88 value of glass, and you can see the significant difference!
In the unlikely case of any damage done to the ETFE cushions, minor repairs can be carried out within a very short timescale by using an adhesive ETFE foil patch. And, in case of more significant damage, an individual cushion can be easily removed and replaced with minimal disruption to the entire ETFE structure.
In case of power failure, ETFE cushions can maintain pressure for up to 6 hours before starting to deflate, depending upon weather conditions. However, this time seems enough for arrangement of a standby generator to support the cushions in such a situation. Or, a cable bracing system could also be installed. Additionally, ETFE can take up very high loading for a short period of time; thus proving an excellent choice to be used in areas where there is risk of explosion. ETFE cushions do not break or fall from the extrusion frames if damaged.
All these properties have led ETFE to become one of the most popular constructional materials today, which is why there has been a rise in the number of ETFE suppliers in India today. But, out of the many, you need to find the best one like Tuflite Polymers, who has partnered with the reputable Vector Foiltec to provide the Indian sub-continent with high quality ETFE sheets and cushions.