The fifth building material - ETFE

In place of glass, ethyltetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) is often used to form pneumatic structures of "cushions".

Lightweigth-roof made of ETFE-film (PresseBox) ( Frankenthal, )
These constructions can be used for roofs or other architectural structures. Main advantage is the much lower weight compared with glass.

The ETFE is a modified copolymer which is extruded into a thin film. The material is antistatic, selfcleaning and easily repairable (using ETFE tape CMC 77700 in the event of puncture). The material 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 houses). The material is not burning an recyclable.

The panels are often formed from multiple layers of ETFE. The foil is extremely thin: each layer is between 50 and 200 µm thick, giving 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 with an appearance as if the construction is made of not much more than just air.

In case of damage of the foil or as a protective layer against fraying it is not easy to find a tape that can be attached to the antiadhesive surface of ETFE. But CMC Klebetechnik, Germany offers a tape called CMC 77700 that sticks very good to the surface. It consists of the same material as the "cushions" and offers similar properties. The adhesive in use is also durable and UVresistant. The adhesive tape CMC 77700 is available in all width between 10 mm and 900 mm and in a length of 5 m to 500 m (standard: 50 mm x 50 m). The film used for the tape has a thickness of 0,100 mm (2 mils). The product is also available with a protective liner on the adhesive (makes it easy to cut out partswithout the problem of prompt adhesiveness). Typnumber for that material is CMC 77701.
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