The fifth building material – Maintenance of ETFE constructions (maintenance des verrières gonflables en ETFE )

The ETFE is a modified copolymer which is extruded into a thin film. The material is ageing resistant, self-cleaning and transparent. It is unaffected by UV light, atmospheric pollution or weathering and extensive testing has shown an anticipated life expectancy in excess of 40 years (used e.g. for green house cladding). The material is self-extinguishing and it is resistant to normal hailstorms.

Single layer constructions are supported by a cable net. Cushions are formed from multiple layers of ETFE. The foil is extremely thin: each layer is between 50 and 300 µm thick, it enables very high levels of light transmission in both the visible (94-97%) and ultraviolet range (83-88%). Together with light weight perimeter frames it is easily possible to have buildings which appear like as they were built of not much more than air. Architectural roofing designs are revolutionized by these ETFE-films since many years now. Also greenhouses (horticultural and industrial) and wall coverings, anti-graffiti protection for high traffic areas and solar collectors are applications, ETFE is used for due to its excellent properties. ETFE has only 1% the weight of glass, is 100% recyclable and is self-extinguishing.

Despite these advantages of ETFE films there are some problems appearing according to the low thickness of the material. Usually cushions are stabilized by inflating with dry air. Especially on rooftops birds love to land there and peck at their food to break it up before swallowing. The bigger the bird the more powerful their pecking action will be. It is widely known that ETFE roofs and Canopies installed nearby or close to stages (e.g. Allianz Arena Munich) or the sea suffer most of this problem. This is because Ravens, Crows or Seagulls use the ETFE roof membranes as an ideal platform to stop and peck at food rubbish or shellfish, crabs and the occasional stolen chip. This often vigorous and powerful pecking action causes punctures and tearing to the ETFE Membrane, opening holes where the inflating air can leak. This causes higher operation cost or the possibility of fatal destruction of a complete cushion.

Fortunately the ETFE material is resistant to tear growth so that it is easy to repair such holes and tears on-site by using a special adhesive tape from CMC Klebetechnik. This transparent tape is made of the same material as the cushion itself: an 100µm ETFE-film. The adhesive sticks good to the cushion surface and is similar resistant to UV and weathering as the ETFE. It is resistant against creeping of water under the adhesive tape and elastic as the base material of the cushion.
This is why CMC 77700 ETFE adhesive tape is ideal for repairing of damages (minor tears or holes) or reinforcement e.g. under supporting cables of single layer constructions. No need to replace individual elements of a roofing construction can save a lot of money. And due to the transparency of the adhesive tape, repairs are nearly invisible. Maintenance with ETFE adhesive tapes from CMC Klebetechnik reduce costs, time and effort for repair.

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Estadio Cuauhtémoc: World’s largest mosaic made of ETFE film

The world’s largest façade made of single layer ETFE film is gleaming in the club colors of the Mexican first division club, FC Puebla. The freshly renovated traditional stadium Cuauhtémoc in the Mexican highlands rises to a height of around 40 meters. The extravagant façade made of more than 30,000 square meters of film was built in a very sophisticated design. The film was extruded from the high-performance material 3M Dyneon Fluoroplastic ETFE. The lightweight film makes it possible to build the stadium with 1,500 tons of steel less than for a comparable glass façade.

Cuauhtémoc was the last ruler of the Aztecs, who was forced to surrender to the Spanish conquistadors. Although today he is considered a national hero in Mexico, the Estadio Cuauhtémoc in the metropolis of Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza in the Mexican highlands, around 130 kilometres south of Mexico City, is not named after him. The sports complex, built in 1967, had already hosted suspense-packed competitions at the Summer Olympic Games in 1968 as well as being the venue for the FIFA World Cup in 1970 and 1986. The stadium was completely modernized in the years 2014/2015 and furnished with the first ETFE façade in Mexico by Dünn Lightweight Architecture.

As the sixth largest stadium in Mexico, it now seats 51,700. The façade seems extremely lightweight in its curved shaped and incorporates pre-Columbian design elements with its mosaic character. It consists of 124 vertical segments, about 40 meters in height. A total of 5,952 ETFE film sections in the three shades were welded to one another for the segments. In the daytime the club colors of blue and white as well as the transparent sections continue to be visible. By night the film sections are illuminated by in various colors by LED lights. 

ETFE resists nearly all chemicals
Especially important in the hot and humid climate: In the production of films made of 3M Dyneon ETFE no plasticizers are required, which evaporate over time and thus could promote algae or fungal growth. ETFE films are so smooth that rain showers are sufficient to clean the façade to the greatest possible extent. They are so resistant to other chemicals that they are also able to withstand environmental influences such as exhaust emissions for decades.

Originally, parts of the façade of the stadium in Puebla were made of glass panels in various colors. Dünn Lightweight Architecture chose to design the complete façade with ETFE film instead. One significant advantage: The weight per unit area of ETFE is around 95 percent lower than that of glass. As a result, stress analysts were able to build the support structure in a much lighter way. Instead of the 2,500 tons of steel required for a glass construction, 1,000 tons are sufficient for the ETFE façade, a savings of 60 percent. 

Extrusion in any colour you want
Nowofol Kunststoffprodukte GmbH & Co. KG extruded the films from high-performance material 3M Dyneon ETFE. The company manufactured the NOWOFLON ET 6235Z film for the project in Mexico in three shades and with a thickness of 200 micrometers. The 160 cm wide films were welded in such a way that a mosaic with 80-centimetre-high fields results in the panels up to six meters wide. Nowofol produces ETFE films in nearly all RAL shades and in an infrared absorbing design, in order to minimize the solar heat gain. The films comply with fire classification B1 (in accordance with DIN 4102), an important criterion for stadiums.

Shortly after the remodelling, the naming rights for the stadium were sold to the financial group Multiva for 30 years. There is a very simple reason why there was no public outcry: It was not the last Aztec ruler Cuauhtémoc that the stadium was named after, but rather a brewery that financed the majority of the original construction 50 years earlier. In 2011 this brewery was bought up by an international group.

Further information at www.dyneon.eu

About 3M
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Estadio Cuauhtémoc: Weltweit größtes Mosaik aus ETFE Folie

Die weltweit größte Fassade aus einlagiger ETFE Folie leuchtet in den Vereinsfarben des mexikanischen Erstliga-Klubs FC Puebla. Das frisch renovierte Traditionsstadion Cuauhtémoc im mexikanischen Hochland ragt rund 40 Meter in die Höhe. Die extravagante Fassade aus mehr als 30.000 Quadratmetern Folie wurde aus dem Hochleistungswerkstoff 3M Dyneon Fluoroplastic ETFE extrudiert. Durch das geringe Flächengewicht der Folie kommt die Konstruktion mit 1.500 Tonnen Stahl weniger aus als bei einer vergleichbaren Glasfassade.

Das Estadio Cuauhtémoc in der Millionenstadt Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza im mexikanischen Hochland, rund 130 Kilometer südlich von Mexiko-City war bereits Schauplatz spannender Wettkämpfe bei den Olympischen Sommerspielen 1968 sowie den FIFA Weltmeisterschaften 1970 und 1986. In den Jahren 2014/2015 wurde das Stadium komplett modernisiert und von Dünn Lightweight Architecture mit der ersten ETFE Fassade in Mexiko ausgestattet.

Beeindruckende Folien-Fassade

Die Fassade wirkt in der geschwungenen Form extrem leicht und nimmt mit dem Mosaikcharakter präkolumbiale Designelemente auf. Sie besteht aus 124 vertikalen Segmenten, die rund 40 Meter in die Höhe ragen. Für die Segmente wurden insgesamt 5.952 ETFE Folienabschnitte in den drei Farbtönen miteinander verschweißt. Tagsüber sind so die Vereinsfarben blau und weiß sowie transparente Abschnitte weithin sichtbar. Nachts werden die Folien von LED Leuchten in verschiedensten Farben angestrahlt.

ETFE widersteht nahezu allen Chemikalien

In dem feuchtheißen Klima besonders wichtig: Bei der Produktion von Folien aus 3M Dyneon ETFE werden keine Weichmacher benötigt, die mit der Zeit ausdampfen und damit Halt für Algen-oder Pilzbewuchs bieten könnten. ETFE Folien sind so glatt, dass schon Regenschauer reichen, um die Fassade weitestgehend zu reinigen. Sie sind gegenüber anderen chemischen Verbindungen so beständig, dass sie auch über Jahrzehnte Umwelteinflüssen wie Abgasemissionen widerstehen.

60 Prozent Gewichtsersparnis durch Folie statt Glas

Ursprünglich bestanden Teile der Fassade des Stadions in Puebla aus Glasscheiben in verschiedenen Farben. Dünn Lightweight Architecture setzte sich mit dem Entwurf durch, stattdessen die komplette Fassade mit ETFE Folie zu gestalten. Ein wesentlicher Vorteil: Das Flächengewicht von ETFE ist rund 95 Prozent geringer als das von Glas. Dadurch konnten Statiker die Tragwerkskonstruktion wesentlich filigraner ausführen. Anstelle der für eine Glaskonstruktion notwendigen 2.500 Tonnen Stahl genügen bei der ETFE Fassade 1.000 Tonnen, eine Ersparnis von 60 Prozent.

Extrusion in beliebigen Farben

Die Folien hat Nowofol Kunststoffprodukte GmbH & Co. KG aus dem Hochleistungswerkstoff 3M Dyneon ETFE extrudiert. Die NOWOFLON ET 6235Z Folie für das Projekt in Mexiko stellte das Unternehmen in drei Farbtönen und einer Stärke von 200 Mikrometer her. Die 160 cm breiten Folien wurden so verschweißt, dass sich in den bis zu sechs Meter breiten Panelen ein Mosaik mit 80 Zentimeter hohen Feldern ergibt. Nowofol produziert ETFE Folien in nahezu allen RAL-Farbtönen und auch in einer Infrarotstrahlen-absorbierenden Ausführung, um die Aufheizung durch Sonneneinstrahlung zu minimieren. Die Folien erfüllen die Brandklasse B1 (nach DIN 4102), für Stadien ein wichtiges Kriterium.

Weitere Informationen unter www.dyneon.eu

3M und Dyneon sind Marken der 3M Company.

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