Technical Information

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Tensile Membrane Structures

Tensile membrane structures are characteristically “lightweight” & characterised by having small mass to an applied load and are of the following types:

  • Tensile Structure – characterised by the tensioning of the membrane.
  • Frame Supported – comprises a membrane over a load bearing frame or structure.
  • Air-Supported – a membrane structure supported by the pressurisation of the interior.
  • Air-Inflated – uses air-pressurised membrane support members.
  • Cable Net Structure – uses closely spaced cables to provide support for a membrane.
  • Geodesic Dome Structure – Spherical, single or double layered shells made up of hexagons and pentagons.

Fabric Types

There are 5 main types of fabric used for tensile fabric structures. These being:

  • PVC polyester fabric is the most widely used &  cost effective fabric with 10-20 year life span.
  • Have fire rating & light translucency properties.
  • PTFE glass fabrics have 30 year life span, completely inert, not susceptible to UV degradation & non-combustible. Used for permanent structures only.
  • ETFE foils are used in inflatable structures where thermal properties are important. Used for permanent structures.
  • PVC glass fabrics are used for internal feature tensile sails.


Specific properties – non-flammable, UV resistant, opaque to transparent, self cleaning, etc

  • Long Life – 25+ years
  • Redeploy able
  • Acoustic qualities
  • Recyclable at end of product life
  • Ecologically efficient
  • Rapid construction – through high degree of off-site pre-fabrication
  • Ease of transport and storage