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Vector Foiltec is a business using transparent plastic (ETFE) cushions filled with air as an architectural cladding technology. This solution can be better than glass panels in applications such as roofs over aggressive environments where chemicals would attack a metal window frame, or where the transparent panels have to accommodate deformation due to changing thermal conditions.

History

The Company was founded by Stefan Lehnert in 1982 in Bremen in Germany.[1] Its first structure was the roof of a small pavilion at Burgers' Zoo in 1982.[1]

Operations

The Texlon ETFE cladding system developed by the company consists of a number of layers of the UV stable copolymer ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) welded into cushions or foils. The cushions are restrained around their perimeter by aluminium extrusions, which are in turn fastened to a supporting primary structure. The cushions are inflated with air at low pressure to provide insulation and to resist wear caused by wind.[2]

A Texlon ETFE cushion typically consists of two layers, although more layers can be added to enhance the cladding's insulation properties. Each layer can be modified with a variety of treatments to alter its aesthetic quality, its apparent transparency, and the level of solar gain.[2] The material's innate toughness, resistance to tearing, and ability to work harden over a 300-400% elongation range allow Texlon to endure significant deformation of its support structure.[3] This has allowed the development of unique lightweight structures such as uniaxial cable nets and large scale geodesics.

Vector Foiltec operates more than ten offices worldwide, with manufacturing facilities in Germany and China, and specialist design centers in the UK, Germany, United States, Australia, France, and China.

Major projects

Panoramic view of the geodesic biome domes at the Eden Project

Major projects include:[1]

References

External links

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