Compiled by Juli Case
What is ETFE?
ETFE is a polymer of tetrafluoroethylene and ethylene. As the name implies, it’s in the fluoropolymer family of chemical compounds. Although it has a number of applications, in the specialty fabrics industry, we’re seeing it mostly in the fabric structures industry. When it first came to market, ETFE was a thin, metallic foil and was used in constructions that were created of fabric “pillows.” Currently we’re starting to see ETFE in single-membrane structures, where it has an advantage over glass by being much lighter in weight. However, it’s also an unsupported membrane, and care must be taken when working with it to make sure it doesn’t tear or puncture. Suppliers we’re familiar with include Asahi Glass, Dyneon, Nowofol, and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics.