top of page

ePTFE architectural use introduction

Updated: Mar 31, 2022

ePTFE membrane films are hydrophobic and oleophobic, making them a good fit for

extraordinary performance applications . When formed into membranes, films, laminates, ePTFE can be used to manufacture a wide variety of applications architectural textiles included.

What is ePTFE?

In 1969, Bob Gore stretched heated rods of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and created expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE).Expanded PTFE (ePTFE) is microporous so air-permeable, and is perfect for any application that require a high performance material yet breathing or permeable. As such, ePTFE is different to conventional PTFE. The material is soft and flexible, and feels somewhat like smooth, spongey marshmallow to the touch. Therefore, in architectural textiles Expanded PTFE is often used in applications where textile/fabric expected to perform high degree of flexibility such as repeated open and collapse of umbrella without impairing its durability. For permeability, its worth to mention that ePTFE posses resistance to permeability up to certain pressure, depends on the density and since ePTFE is soft then laminating it in architectural textiles application is must which usuall done using fluoropolymer.

The benefits of expanded PTFE(ePTFE)

Expanded PTFE shares similar properties to PTFE. The material is completely non-toxic and hygienic, and also offers working temperatures up to 260°C. In addition, ePTFE enjoys the following benefits:

· Chemically resistant with high linear strength

· Chemically inert

· Watertight at low pressure

· Low dielectric constant

· Excellent radial expansion and UV resistance

· Different levels of porosity available - Low, medium and high density

Applications for ePTFE

Thanks to its permeable property, expanded PTFE is ideal for use in architectural textiles seeking high performance, medical devices, electronic insulators, high performance filters and various other applications. In oil and gas, this porous fluoroplastic is usefully applied to chemical pipe flanges to even out any bumps and ridges in the pipes and achieve a truer seal.

The downside of ePTFE for architectural textile/fabric

The downside of ePTFE in architectural application is its price, since the manufacturing process is quite complicated and includes starting with proper grade of PTFE resin, blending, extruding, drying, stretching, heating and final curing, etc. Nevertheless, it worth the price when high flexibility and durability applications are needed. Its mostly used for medical application (i.e implants) and other applications aforementioned by far more than architectural fabric yet several worldwide high level stretched fabric projects were made of ePTFE.

Above is microphoto of sintered PTFE before expanding

Hope you find this blog useful, if so please like it and visit our site/follow us on linkden for more interesting topics.

40 views0 comments


bottom of page