Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, colloquially known by its abbreviation ETFE, is a
fluorocarbon-based polymer(a fluoropolymer): a kind of plastic. Trade name "Tefzel". It was designed to have high corrosion resistance and strength over a wide temperature range. In addition it has a high melting temperature and does not emit toxic fumes when ignited.
Chemical and physical properties
Compared to glass, ETFE film is 1% the weight, transmits more light and costs 24% to 70% less to install. It's also resilient (able to bear 400 times its own weight, self-cleaning (due to its nonstick surface) and recyclable. On the other hand it is prone to punctures by sharp edges, therefore it is mostly used for roofs. [ [http://www.todoarquitectura.com/revista/40/en04_ETFE.asp ETFE] ] In sheet form as commonly employed for architecture, it is able to stretch to three times its length without loss of elasticity. Employing heat welding, tears can be repaired with a patch or multiple sheets assembled into larger panels.
An example of its use is as
pneumaticpanels to cover the outside of the football stadium Allianz Arenaor the Beijing National Aquatics Centre(a.k.a. the Water Cube of the 2008 Olympics) - the world's largest structure made of ETFE film ( laminate). The panels of the Eden Projectare also made of ETFE and the Tropical Islandshave a 20.000 m² window made of this translucentmaterial.
Another key use of ETFE is for the covering of electrical wiring used in high stress, low fume toxicity and high reliability situations. Aircraft wiring is a primary example.
ETFE is commonly used in the
nuclear industryfor tie or cable wraps. This is because ETFE has better mechanical toughness and chemical resistance compared to PTFE. In addition, ETFE exhibits a high-energy radiation resistance and can withstand moderately high temperatures for a long period of time. Commercially deployed brand names of ETFE include "Tefzel" by DuPont, "Fluon" by Asahi Glass Company, "Neoflon ETFE" by Daikin,and "Texlon" by Vector Foiltec.
Buildings using ETFE
Eden Project, Cornwall, England
University of Bradford, Bradford, England
Alnwick Castle, Alnwick, England
Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Beijing National Aquatics Centre, (the Water Cube) Beijing, China
Beijing National Stadium, Beijing, China
Biota!aquarium, London, England
* roof, dedicated underground rail station at the Heathrow Airport Terminal 5,
* [http://www.islazul.com Islazul Shopping Centre] ,
Kansas City Power & Light District, Kansas City, Missouri
Khan Shatyry, Astana, Kazakhstan
Tanaka Business School, London, England
Tropical Islands, Brandenburg, Germany
Barnsley Interchange, Barnsley, England
The Mall Athens, Athens, Greece
The Elements, Livingston, Scotland
* [http://www.businessweek.com/print/innovate/content/apr2007/id20070424_903199.htm Material for an Architectural Revolution] , Business Week, April 24, 2007
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