ETFE (Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene ) | Skylight & Cladding System
Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene (ETFE) is a clear polymer that is extruded into a thin film (or foil) which is used to form either a single layer membrane or multi-layer cushions supported in an aluminium perimeter extrusion.
ETFE system combines 2 and 5 layers of ETFE (Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene ) Foil to form a air pressure stabilized cladding panels or a single layer system.
ETFE foils can be transparent, colored or printed.The numbers of layers used in a panel depends on specific requirements for structural and thermal performance.Number of layers, surface coatings, and embodied pigments can be utilized for G and U Value.ETFE foils come in rolls typically 1.5 meter wide and between 200 m to 500 m long.
The thickness of individual foil layers can vary between 80 um and 300 um.
ETFE is an acoustically transparent material with a mass less than 1 kg/m2.This means that sound generated by building occupants passes through the ETFE foil and it is not reflected back into the space below unlike materials like glass. Rainfall on the outer surface of the ETFE panels will generate some noise.
Rain noise can be problem in spaces where there is a requirement of minimal background noise such as offices, call centers and library. This can be reduced by installing a rain suppression mesh.
The mesh is usually made from Fluro polymer monofilament fibers or fabrics with a weave diameter typical measuring 20 mm to 40 mm .it is held under tension across the external surface of each panel and traps a buffering layer of incident rain.
A well maintained ETFE system has an anticipated life of 50 years. ETFE foil is not effected by ultra violet light, pollution such as sea salt.
With a melting point of 260 degree Celsius the ETFE does not promote the spread of flames as it self-extinguishes and does not generate any flaming droplets or particles. If ETFE cladding come in contact with flames, it will melt and shrink back from the area affected allowing hot gases and smoke to be vented from the building .
The light transmission of single layer of foil ranged from 88 % -95 % over the entire solar spectrum. A 200 um ETFE foil is 20 % more transparent then a 3 mm pane of float glass. The aesthetic and thermal performance of ETFE can be changed by applying specialty coatings, printing and extra layers of foil. The occupants of the buildings are shielded from the Heat Gain, IR and harmful UV Radiation while simultaneously enjoying natural daylight with a feeling of living in a controlled outdoor space.
The ETFE foils are printed with silver pigments as silver reflects the solar radiation .ETFE offers significant environment benefits as compared to other transparent cladding systems. ETFE helps to reduce the requirement of artificial lighting and mass of supporting structure and allowing a faster installation compared to glazed systems. The inflated ETFE panel when reached the end of their useful phase, it is then recycled.