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self adhesive fiberglass mesh

May 31st, 2004 No comments

self adhesive fiberglass mesh

Fabric Construction: the choice of materials

Architect of today has a tough decision when it comes selecting materials. It is steel and glass and concrete and wood. What about fabric! Architectural Fabric Structures are fast becoming an very common and visible from the built environment. No longer used for garden parties and traveling circuses, these structures are in many forms and new uses.

fabric structures are designed to be as few as one person as in a resort hotel of charm in the Australian bush, to cover 50,000 more to the Super Bowl in Houston, Texas. Fabric Structures are now also designed to cover animals as well as at SeaWorld Orlando, where these structures cover the dolphins to prevent sun burn (they get too much sun?). And do not forget the man most newest best friend, the automobile. Increasingly, the automobile has taken a central place where valet parking attendants, airport owners parking and car dealers are discovering the benefits of auto coverage.

Fabric Structures are beings used as roofs, sails, walls, lights, shades and even signs. With all these different uses and forms, there are a variety of materials choose according to their needs, budget and design.

The best way to determine what material to use is to see what has already been used for the type of building you are considering.

If you are interested in structures such as tents or umbrellas where the main objective is to provide temporary shelters nomads, you're probably on vinyl laminated or coated polyester.

If you are looking for awnings and canopies, the possibilities are endless. You're more likely to hear words like acrylic canvas and backlit fabrics and materials that you can apply to graphics.

If shade is your main concern, the watchword is structural mesh, high density polyethylene (HDPE), perforations and the percentage of light transmission.

For storage, industrial applications and temporary buildings, a common term can be worn open or a prefabricated building fabric with materials that are mildew resistant like polyolefin.

The interior and the lighting industry have their own variety of tissues where the flame resistance, UL ratings and the percentage of reflectance are the most important issues.

Air and tension fabric structures rely heavily on the fabric structural transmission traction characteristics to the sound absorption and sun plays a major role in their choice.

So what material do you use?

Is your project near the water? Is it meant to last 20 years? Would you like to see from afar or do you want it to be dark inside at noon? All these are important issues must be answered before you even start. Fabric Structures have very few components. In most cases, it is all steel, fabric cables and equipment. The choice of each component will most certainly affect the others. Other issues include the duration, size, availability, cost codes, etc.

In most states, stable, fully enclosed structures require a fuel "no" or Class A / B rating according to building codes. The most recognized and accepted material used for architectural applications is Teflon fiberglass or PTFE.

Manufacturers recognized include Saint-Gobain, Verseidag, FiberTech and Taconic. Teflon comes to the site as a pair of brown khaki, but bleaches to a milky white over time (usually 4-8 weeks). The biggest problem with Teflon is that it is rigid and brittle and must be handled carefully to avoid breaking the fibers. The best part is its lifetime (25 + years) and his "self-cleaning" attributes.

Other "Not flammable" materials including fiberglass silicone, Gore Fabrics Brand Tenar architecture and Ethylene tetra ethylene, or ETFE.

Silicon has been on the market for some time. Unlike fiber glass coated with Teflon that can be heat sealed, Silicon must be glued with special glue. Advantage silicon-on Teflon is its translucency, the cost and availability of colors. Gore Brand Tenaris is also in the category "combustible". Advantages are its high light transmission, long life and is more flexible than silicon or Teflon so it can be used for retractable structures.

ETFE is not really a fabric but a film being promoted as an alternative to structural glass. It is "green" is friendly and the new hot today the architects of the material in the world. It is used in FIFA stadiums in Germany, the Olympic Games in China, being specified for commercial buildings and retail and choice for creating artificial rain forests for zoos and science centers.

The majority of tissue structures that we examine today are for uses that do not require complete enclosure. This means they are most likely "open air" or do not need Class A. Class C is the most common response and NFPA 701 is the most accepted certificate for most fire marshals. Vinyl coated polyester (PVC) is the most common materials used on the market today.

What's not to love. The material offered in a variety colors, strengths, weights, thickness, holes, translucency and texture. The material is flexible and extends well enough. You can find documents with 10, 12 and even 15 year guarantees. You can find documents that is 50 to 100 cm wide so you can have some, less or the least amount of stitching.

The manufacturers include Ferrari, Mehler, Naizil, Seaman and Verseidag, just to name a few. These are the names most views on the specifications, which means that these companies are directly marketing to help the architect in the early stages of design.

PVC comes in a variety top finishes: acrylic, PVDF and PVF film. There is much debate about finishing top, but all manufacturers agree they are necessary to protect the base fabric UV degradation, water and wind. Frankly, it's all about the coatings. FSP is a film applied on the main fabric while acrylic and PVDF coatings. Both PVF and PVDF claim to be "self-cleaning" or provide the material base with a good cleaning and maintenance free surface, but both require further work in the store that may be unknown to the architect. The two upscale PVF and PVDF require that the layer finish or a movie where two panels meet to be ground off so that they are RF welded. This takes time and requires great care to keep the seams clear of dirt, mold and model. There is "weldable" PVDF but their guarantees are not as high tech top graphic art and love coats.PVC provide the perfect setting for projected images.

Today, tissue structures more are designed for shade only. Structural and perforated mesh fabrics are set because of the need for shade, the need for allow items to go through the material and the need for a space to "see through and be seen. Material most often used is high density polyethylene (HDPE). Manufacturers include Multiknit, Coolaroo and Shadetex. This mesh material is a grade higher what we see in a warehouse home improvement store or outdoor furniture. HDPE is used for playgrounds, areas requiring protection against hail, schools, daycare centers and theme parks and public spaces Assembly. Mesh is hot so you can stay costs. Mesh is available in color, fire resistant and puncture different. It has a lifespan of 8-10 years and in most cases reduces the size and expense on the structural system and foundation, because it takes less wind.

If you want to keep things simple, then work with materials that do not rely on their structural characteristics stability. These materials are usually clad in a frame. The materials are usually coated polyester vinyl, acrylic coated canvas, and materials with a finish coat of light. Sunbrella is a common brand name. The equipment is less technical information available to fully implement structural engineering minor, but when used as a coating on a framework, they offer many possibilities the architect. We can apply graphics to the material, put the texture on the surface or do something really unique.

If you want looking for materials for indoor applications, look no further than the industrial fabric industry and drapes for theater. There are lightweight materials, PTFE used for ceilings in dome stadiums, PVC fabrics are used for indoor sculptures canvas all materials theater curtains by companies like Rosebrand Dazian and are used for a softer look. Spandex / Lycra is another material commonly used to transform spaces and temporary permanent, but require the material be fire treated prior to manufacture.

Finally, it does not hurt to dream about the future of tissue architecture. The wish list would include "smart" fabrics, fabrics that change color depending on temperature, light or mood. Fiber fabrics Optical and photovoltaic materials to longer life, greater tensile strength, improved self-cleaning, more high translucency and friendly environment.

The future of architectural fabric Structures depends on effort manufacturers to continuously improve its existing products and introduce new materials.

About the Author

Samuel J. Armijos, AIA is Vice President of USA Shade and Fabric Structures and author of Fabric Architecture: Resources for shade, signage and shelter. He resides in Fairfield, NJ with his wife and two children. http://www.fabricarchitect.com

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