Best Materials of Tensile Fabric Architecture


Tensile fabric architecture is one of the modern day architectural innovations that enhances the beauty of the construction. A tensile construction is where there is only tension and no bending or compression. If an architect comes to you you with a plan of a tensile structure mostly he will know what fabric is required but it might happen that he may look up to you for selecting the right Tensile fabric. For such a situation you would have to have an idea about the different types of Tensile Fabric available in the market.

Well, don’t worry – we’re here to help!

When you talk about structural fabric there is a woven base cloth that is protected by a coating on both the sides. One thing to remember here is that the structural fabric for internal and external usage is different from one another. Whether it is internal or external usage in the Tensile Fabric construction one thing that a structural fabric must have is the maximum capability of withstanding loads. Mostly a Tensile fabric has a tensile strength of 10 tonnes.

The fabric used for Tensile construction have to go under a test that actually determines the capability of withstanding loads. Once the fabric clears this test only then it comes out in the market to be used. A common structural fabric has a strength of 10 tonnes. There are exceptions too with lesser strength; these fabric can be used according to the requirement of the situation.

There are two different types of fabrics used for internal and external use and both these types are described as under.

Coated Fabrics for External Use

When we talk about the external use there are primarily two types of fabric, one is Poly Venyl Chloride coated polyester cloth also known as PVC and the other is PTFE/glass coated cloth. PTFE is Poly Tetra Fluro Ethlene. The PVC or the polyester fabric have a structural lifespan of more than 20 years but the appearance of the fabric becomes very dull upon extensive use as it becomes very hard to clean with passing time.

While on the other hand the structural lifespan of the PTFE/glass fabric is approximately between 25 to 30 years, and as the essential component of this fabric is inert so it is best used with permanent structures.

Mesh Fabrics for Internal Use

When talking about the interior architecture there are mainly three types of structural fabrics. Cottons, Silicon coated glass cloth and pure glass meshes. Cottons is the cheapest and the most stylish at the same time. These are available in different colors. This fabric have a capability to shrink that is why it is used for shorter time spans. If you look at the silicon coated glass cloth it is known for its fire resistance but it really attracts dirt. About the pure glass meshes they can be used only in a very few applications such as in exhibition halls where the fire standards are stringent.


About Darren Rider

Darren Rider is a small business owner located in North Raleigh, NC. In addition to designing manufacture, sell and install tensioned membrane structures worldwide through TMB, he owns or co-owns other local businesses in the area.

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