Why Is ETFE Used as a Roofing Material?

ETFE roofing in China

Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) is a thin, translucent, fluorine-based plastic and copolymer sheeting used in some roofing materials for commercial buildings. For several reasons, ETFE has become a popular roofing material in buildings all over the world. Look for photos of the Beijing National Aquatics Center in China and Eden Project in the United Kingdom. For a massive project, look to U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings.

Our team specializes in industrial coatings for many industries, including construction and engineering, so we understand the latest industry trends. Take a look at some of the benefits of using this material for roofing.


Translucence represents one of the key reasons to use ETFE as a roofing material. Typically, ETFE translucent copolymer sheeting is used in large-scale building projects, such as sports stadiums, train stations, and museums. These multi-layer roofs foster strength and light transmission.

Translucent sheeting allows natural light to flow into a building. You’ll create an open, airy feel while cutting back on electrical usage in colder months. Natural light reduces the number of light bulbs needed to illuminate a particular area during the day.

Choosing an ETFE structure for translucent building materials offers great aesthetics. And, it’s a practical choice for those who wish to save on energy costs. If you need a sturdy greenhouse, this building material does not block UV light, vital for plants to grow.

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Although ETFE is a lightweight material (lighter than glass) it is surprisingly strong and durable. During manufacturing, the copolymer sheeting is extremely malleable. Its tensile strength allows this building material to stretch up to three times its length. It will not crack or break under pressure.

The copolymer sheets with ETFE can actually handle 400 times their weight without breaking. With its elastic properties and tensile strength, ethylene tetrafluoroethylene can handle extreme weather conditions like storms, strong winds, and heavy snow. It’s and ideal for roofing material when you need a sturdy, translucent structure that works in a high temperature range with other plastics.


A roof requires a great deal of maintenance. For large-scale construction projects, repairing or replacing a roof takes a lot of time, money, and effort. It’s also inconvenient.

Luckily, ETFE has a long lifespan. Known to withstand the demands of extreme weather conditions, this material can go several decades without having to be replaced.

Some of the earliest applications of ETFE film as a copolymer roofing material have lasted over 30 years without replacement. Some experts predict that an ETFE roof can last up to 50 years before it needs replacing. 

Structures that benefit from ETFE building materials include:

  • Greenhouses and plant nurseries for home or commercial use
  • Durable structures where natural light is valuable, such as workshops, sculpture galleries, and studios
  • Shelters and pavilions at public parks
  • Stadiums and arenas
  • Airports, train stations and bus stations
  • Structures that need open, airy spaces without a lot of load-bearing beams in the middle

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Contact Us About ETFE

To learn more how you can utilize ETFE in your next building project, contact us for more information. With over 40 years of experience in industrial coatings, our experts can match a coating with your project. Whether you are interested in O-ring coating, spin coating, or industrial painting, we have the knowledge and experience to help. To learn more about our services, contact us today.