PTFE

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Resilient Properties

PTFE describes woven fabrics made of glass fibers that are coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). This composite material allows for very large and longer-lasting coverings. Glass fibers make PTFE strong while its PTFE coating provides robustness. PTFE is closely chemically related to ETFE and similarly resistant against thermal and chemical demands. This makes PTFE-glass stable against negative environmental conditions and remain functional over decades.

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Color and Application

PTFE weathers quickly to a white color. The better weathering and combustibility properties have made this the product of choice for major stadiums, transportation and retail facilities.

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Fire and Light

Architecturally used PTFE is non-combustible. The material is stable from -170 to 260 degrees C. The material’s fire properties make it preferable in many applications to PVC. The light transmittance is low compared to say ETFE and typically between 5% and 25%.

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Longevity

PTFE membranes have been in architectural use for over 35 years and require biaxial tensioning. Life expectancy is higher than PVC due to both the improved protection of the fibers and the superiority of the fiber material itself. ETFE is extruded and has no fibers and is expected to last longer.

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Cost Effectiveness

PTFE is a heavier material than PVC and significantly heavier than ETFE. It is more durable than PVC and has different performance against fire, degradation and chemical impact. However the cost of the material is also higher. It is not typically suited to operable folding roofs due to its stiffness.

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Cleaning

Polytetrafluoroethylene membranes (PTFE) are in the Teflon family. The chemical composition of the material means it demonstrates a low dirt adhesion, so typical grime and dust do not cling to the surface. This performance is superior to PVC and in some markets, the material is referred to as “self-cleaning”. While this property is definitely of benefit, maintenance and cleaning are still highly recommended. Specialized cleaning is best performed with annual maintenance.

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