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Architectural Textiles: World Cup Showcase in 2006 and Beyond
published in Issue 66, 3rd quarter 2006
The 2006 World Cup served as a showcase for the extensive use of architectural textiles in Germany. Many of the stadiums which hosted world cup matches feature roofing and support structures made from high performance textiles. Furthermore, two of the world’s largest companies which design and construct buildings using architectural textiles, Hightex and Covertex, have their headquarters in Germany.
Textiles have a number of advantages over conventional roofing materials—such as prefabricated hard panels of metal or plastic. The advantages include flexibility, light weight, low cost and high coverage. These properties enable architects to incorporate wider and longer panels into their designs.
Today, the use of textiles in architecture is commonplace throughout the world in a number of structures, including public buildings, auditoria, open-air theatres, railway stations, airports, shopping centres, parks and landscaped spaces, entrances and walkway areas.
Architectural textiles are usually made from woven polyester fabric coated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), although other synthetics and coatings can be used. For special properties and enhanced durability, fibreglass fabric coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) can be employed. In addition, pneumatically pre-tensioned ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) film or sheeting offers a number of design possibilities at relatively low cost.
Key fabric manufacturers supplying the architectural textile sector include Ferrari in France, Sattler in Austria and Verseidag-Indutex in Germany.
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