Simfield Access Solutions

ETFE VS Glass

high access solutions

ETFE (Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene) is an old invention that has returned to take the construction industry by storm. Originally created for insulation purposes, ETFE’s real worth came in the 80’s when the qualities of this strong, see through plastic were properly analysed.

  • Incredibly strong and tear resistant.
  • Transparent, capable of letting through 95% of light.
  • Lightweight, requires less structural support.
  • Resistant to corrosion, extending service life.
  • Self-cleaning with it’s non-stick surface.
  • Recyclable.

These qualities make ETFE an incredibly attractive mainstream building tool, as it can replace a number of other building materials and aspects of construction. ETFE panels can be made by stretching single sheets of the plastic, which can be used for roofs and skylights due to it’s high light transmission and durable nature. Glass panes can be replaced with ETFE panels due to their high transparency whilst also being capable of printing on, which allows for an endless choice of patterns, colours and design choices for a building. ETFE cushions can be formed by using multiple layers of ETFE foil with pockets of air between them created by inflation units, allowing for effective insulation solutions.

Due to it’s non-stick surface, ETFE is self-cleaning and therefore requires no cleaning. When coupled with its high resistance to corrosion, tearing resistance and long service life, the need for maintenance in general is considerably cut. Glass on the other hand has only the added 5% transparency over its rival in ETFE. Other than that, it is:

Heavy – Increasing the weight on the overall building and adding more demand on your structural support.
Expensive – Costly materials requiring specialist installers adds up.
Maintenance dependant – Glass must be cleaned constantly for visual appeal. Often when it is damaged will require entire new panes to be put in place.

The fact that ETFE can solve these problems whilst remaining cheap, recyclable and long lasting, is why industry experts are touting it as the ‘miracle material’. If you want to learn more about how ETFE installation can help you, leave us your details below and we can arrange an expert to get in touch on how to move your construction and maintenance plans forward.