What Are Tensile Structure Fabric and Frame Materials

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  • Author Rechael Zoe
  • Published December 30, 2019
  • Word count 752

Tensile membrane structures are a new and cost-effective shade shelter form in architecture industry. Their innovative fabric materials and techniques are more and more popular in the projects of modern architects and designers. Their incredible tensioned flexible membranes are supported by cables, structural steel framework and foundations to form a variety of styles, shapes and sizes. With advances in building materials and engineering techniques, tensioned fabric structures can be constructed into permanent, semi-permanent, or even temporary installations to address the unique needs of different projects, like carports, balcony canopy, walkway shelter, landscape shade sails, sculpture umbrellas, colorful facades, stadiums, and so on. Let's explore the fabric and frame materials of tensile structures to see why you should consider it your next architectural project.

Fabric Options for Tensile Membrane Structure

One of the most important considerations to create a tensioned fabric structure is to choose the right membrane. The flexible membrane has to overcome both functional and aesthetic challenges while adapting to address emerging trends. Here are a variety of fabric options you can choose for your new tensile structure project.

  1. PVC Fabrics

This option includes high-strength PVC, light-weight PVC, and PVC membrane mesh. It's very versatile, cost-effective and popular, can be said one of the most frequently used materials in tensile membrane structure industry, because this tensioned fabric material offers a great balance between price and performance.

  1. PTFE Fiberglass Membrane

The biggest feature of this tension fabric material is its durability, actually, the Teflon™-coated woven fiberglass membrane is considered one of the most durable materials in fabric architecture industry.

  1. PTFE-Coated Fiberglass Mesh

This fabric is not the second material. It supports greater light transmission and air flow so the fabric often used in vertical building facades and shading applications.

  1. ePTFE with Fluoropolymer Coating

ePTFE fabric is a highly translucent variation of PTFE membrane provided by SEFAR that promotes exceptional natural lighting and is highly resistant to stains or contamination.

  1. TiO2 Coated PTFE Membrane

If you are looking for a self-cleaning fabric material for urban setting and high-traffic areas where exhaust and pollution are a significant challenge, this is the material for you. TiO2 coated PTFE is the closest you can get to a real self-cleaning fabric material, which require the minimal maintenance.

  1. HDPE Fabric

HDPE means high-density polyethylene, it's a knitted shade cloth which is an economical porous option popular at schools and parks.

Frame Options for Tensile Membrane Structure

In addition to the membrane material selection, you will also need to discuss with the design and engineering teams to determine the frame concept in the phase of design. It's usually steel poles with some cables, but there are more details need to be confirmed like frame material selection, construction style and necessary finished.

  1. Frame Material Selection

The most common metal frame materials used for a tensile membrane structure include three types, which are hollow structural steel (HSS), stainless steel, and aluminum tubing. In short, HSS is cost-effective, stainless steel is corrosion resistant but expensive, and aluminum is lightweight. Each has varying benefits, including cost, strength, and corrosive nature, discuss with experts in tensile fabric architecture to find the best option for your project's unique needs.

  1. Construction Style

Architects and engineers can use different material constructions to address a wide array of project needs. Standard sections may come in round tubing, rectangular sections, or wide flanges. Trusses use a system of cords that run the length of the truss frame, and they can span greater distances than a single section of frame. Bending Steel creates curves in standard sections of framework. Wide Flange & I-Beams are efficient shapes for long spans under sheer and bending stress.

The frameworks can be designed into nearly any shape so that gives the architects unlimited possibilities. Tapered rectangular beams are just one example of how custom shapes add unique style to the frame design. Telescopic columns are high-strength substitutions for round narrowing light posts when heavy loads are involved. The diminishing diameters of the round beams provide a tapering visual.

  1. Metal Frame Finishes

There are also many choices for the metal frame finishes, but the most common are Polyester Powder Coat, Three-Part Epoxy Paint, and Hot-Dip Galvanizing. FYI, our steel frame parts are Hot-Dip galvanized by default.

Creative tensioned membrane structures can be complex and challenging, so you need to work with professional design-build company with well-established expertise, to help you through every phases of your project. Lanao Membrane Structure is the one to provide you a full-service in tensile membrane architecture industry with cost-effective solutions.

Lanao Membrane Structure is a professional fabric architecture supplier company from China, we provides you custom tensile fabric roof structure design and installation service and very cost-effective solution. Just contact us to discuss your new fabric architecture project.

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