Tensile structures have been used for millennia. When indigenous peoples required shelter that was lightweight and structurally sound, fabrics made from animal hides and easily transportable elements were the most viable solution. At the Roman Colosseum, a retractable Velarium provided shading for a more comfortable spectator experience. Now, ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) is offering new opportunities.
A relatively new product within the industry, ETFE is a fluorine-based plastic that remains strong across a wide range of temperatures and is highly resistive to corrosion. It was developed from polytetrafluoro-ethylene (PTFE)—also known as Teflon—a strong, lightweight, fire-retardant fabric membrane that was originally formulated for space exploration apparel, but later used for architectural applications and transparent envelopes.
For a number of years fluoropolymers have played a significant role in the chemical and similar industries to protect plants and equipment against chemical attack by a broad range of aggressive media. This is because they offer substantially better chemical resistance and thermal stability than other plastics or elastomeric materials.For a number of years fluoropolymers have played a significant role in the chemical and similar industries to protect plants and equipment against chemical attack by a broad range of aggressive media. This is because they offer substantially better chemical resistance and thermal stability than other plastics or elastomeric materials.
Polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE or PTFCE) is a thermoplastic chlorofluoropolymer with the molecular formula (CF2CClF)n, where nis the number of monomer units in the polymer molecule. It is similar to polytetrafluoroethene (PTFE), except that it is a homopolymerof the monomer chlorotrifluoroethylene (CTFE) instead of tetrafluoroethene. It has the lowest water vapor transmission rate of any plastic.
Polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE (more commonly known as Teflon) is a particularly versatile ivory-white and opaque plastic fluoropolymer; it is made by the free-radical polymerisation of many tetrafluoroethene molecules, and is suitable for a wide range of applications in industries as diverse as aerospace, the food and drink industry, pharmaceuticals and telecoms.
Fluoropolymer is usually olefinic polymer which consists of partially or fully fluorinated olefinic monomers such as vinylidene fluoride (CH2¼CF2) and tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) (CF2¼CF2). These polymers have been covered in great detail in a number of references. More specialty fluorinated polymers include per-fluoroethers, fluoroacrylates, and fluorosilicones which are used in significantly smaller volume than olefinic fluoropolymers.