Polyester PVC (polyvinyl chloride):
It is the most commonly used fabric in architecture as it involves the best ratio between cost, performance and durability.
It is produced in 6 different types (from type 0 to type V). Each type is characterized by a different weight per square meter and by the resistance values in warp and weft which increase accordingly. The coating of a technical fabric, unlike an industrial fabric, is obtained by covering the polyester base fabric with PVC and other products that improve their performance in terms of fire resistance and weathering, durability, maintenance and aesthetics. Additives such as dyes, stabilizers, plasticizers, flame retardants and anti-mildew are the products utilized to improve the performance. These are the components that characterize a technical fabric for textile architecture application. PVC has a relatively low translucency (from 6 to 35%) due to last generation coating. It has a good flame resistance, a good aging behavior though it tends to become yellow over time in contact with light radiations.
The average lifespan of this product is between 10 and 15 years.
Polyester PVC (polyvinyl chloride) mesh fabric:
Commonly used fabric in architecture mainly for the production of textile facades. It is produced with different sizes of mesh. Each type is characterized by a different ability to reduce the solar radiation and the graphic customization. It is an high performance material with good resistance to UV rays, wide choice of colors and extreme flexibility in the achievement of any 3D shape.
The average life of this product is between 10 and 15 years.
Polyester PVC / PVDF:
It is a fabric with the same technical characteristics of PVC but with an additional lacquering with PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) that reduces the yellowing caused by UV rays and the vulnerability to air pollutants by increasing the durability of brightness and the white colouring.
The average lifespan of this product could reach 15 years.
Woven glass fiber / PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene):
It is a commonly used fabric in textile architecture that provides excellent performance in terms of durability and chemical inertness to atmospheric agents and solar radiation. The specific translucency of the glass fibers and the homogeneous diffusion of the light makes it suitable in projects where high levels of illumination are required for interiors.
The stiffness of the glass fibers and the difficult malleability of PTFE however, makes it unsuitable for the use in temporary or transformable buildings which involve repeated bending of the membrane; the translucency is approximately equal to 14% while the property of solar radiation reflecting is almost 74%. It is widely used in permanent buildings and in particular for the covering of stadiums, fairgrounds and archaeological sites.
The average life span of this fabric is of about 25/30 years.
Woven fiberglass / silicone
The particular translucency of the glass fibers and the homogeneous diffusion of the light makes it suitable where high levels of illumination are required for interiors. Both the fabric components are obtained from silicone: glass fibers and silicone rubber. The siliceous matrix common to the two products results in the perfect compatibility of the two components allowing the achievement of good performance together with a low environmental impact.
The static and mechanical properties of the fabric are comparable to those of PTFE. However, the increased flexibility makes it easier to handle during the manufacturing process.
The average lifespan of this fabric is over 20 years.
PTFE fabric (Tenara ®):
Fluor polymer-coated fabric made from PTFE fibers is currently the most efficient thanks to the properties of polytetrafluoroethylene, a non-combustible material, chemically inert, exceptionally resistant to dirt, abrasion and breakage. Excellent translucency properties: according to thickness is up to 40%. Unlike PTFE coated woven fiber-glass and silicon coated fiber glass its resistance to bending makes it suitable for use in temporary and convertible structures. The average lifespan is over 30 years.
ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) comes in film (sheets or layers) through an extrusion process of a thickness ranging from 100 to 300 micron. Due to its lightness, transparency (95%) and recyclability (monocomponent) it is mainly used for pneumatic cushions mainly suitable for the realization of greenhouses, zoos or swimming pools but also for roofing and pneumatic façades or as a single layer. In textile architecture, generally the integration of solar filtering system can be foreseen by applying suitable pigmentations and printings in order to provide shading. The lack of resistance in warp and weft makes the strength of the material lower than the other products and therefore it is mainly used for the production of pneumatic cushions.
The average lifespan of this material is over 25 years.