A greenhouse is traditionally thought of as a structure with glass panes for its walls and roof, and it may come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The Victorians felt that greenhouses were necessary to enjoying the sunshine and benefits of plants in inclement weather and were known for building elaborate greenhouse structures. Modern architectural structures with transparent coverings may be considered to be ‘greenhouses’ whether or not they contain plants.
Ethylene Tri Fluoro Ethylene (ETFE) was discovered as a result of DuPont inventing a fluorocarbon polymer to be used as aircraft insulation. Initially, ETFE was considered to be a major improvement over the polyethylene sheet used for greenhouse tunnel applications, and ETFE is it still used for greenhouses today. Modern ETFE applications range from commercial greenhouses, growing flowers and produce to a wide variety of architectural structures including transparent roofs to building envelopes.
What makes ETFE such a versatile, durable and innovative material?
The Uniqueness of ETFE
A Modern 200μm foil of Texlon TM ETFE is 20% more transparent than a 3mm pane of traditional glass. The transparency of ETFE makes it desirable for many applications, and for a greenhouse, it is possible to have up to 95% transmission of the solar spectrum yet having the benefits of a greenhouse.
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ETFE is also dirt resistant. In windy areas, dirt may land on a greenhouse, but due to the low surface tension of the film, dirt easily washes off with the next rain. Snow also slides right off.
ETFE is a self-extinguishing fire material with a UL rating of 94-0.
ETFE allows the penetration of UV light into a greenhouse which will improve crop performance. Produce and flowers develop more intense colors. The addition of other glazings can reduce UV penetration, if desired.
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Condensation does not form on ETFE, preventing fallback onto the plants. ETFE is available in a clear or diffuse version.
ETFE is very strong, holding up to 300x its weight. It is also durable, with a life cycle of over 15 years and up to 50 years. Best of all, its is recyclable. And with its heat retention properties, the number of layers can be customized to suit your greenhouse needs with regard to heating and cooling.
Contact Coating Systems Inc.
Coating Systems Inc of Harrison OH is available to hand all of your custom coating needs including application of ETFE. Contact us today for a quote on your next industrial project.