Waterproof Tensile Canopies: 5 Key Things You Need to Know

Waterproof Tensile Canopies: 5 Key Things You Need to Know

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What are some of the most important things that you will need to know when it comes to waterproof tensile canopies? Continue reading to learn more!

When you are looking for tensile canopies, one of the most important factors that you will have to consider is the location and the purpose of your canopy. 

If you are looking for a tensile canopy for the long summer months, you may opt for a more breathable fabric that still protects you from the UV rays. 

However, if you are looking for a canopy that needs to withstand extreme weather conditions, or you are located in an area where it rains a lot, what you need to look for are waterproof tensile canopies to ensure that no water passes through them.

Waterproof canopies are used for a wide variety of outdoor events and for creating semi permanent structures. They  combine the knowledge of architecture with the development of innovative materials to provide feasible and cost-effective shade and shelter solutions.

In this article, we will discuss the most important things that you will need to know when looking for waterproof tensile canopies. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it:

1. What are Waterproof Tensile Canopies?

As their names suggest, waterproof tensile canopies are structures that provide shade and protection against the elements. They are designed to effectively block out the rainwater to help ensure your outdoor space remains dry.

The technology behind these canopies pertains to the way the structure is constructed, namely using tension. 

The structure of the canopy itself does not make use of compression or bending techniques. Instead, supporting structures to the canopy, like beams and poles, make use of compression and bending. 

Waterproof tensile canopies have a plethora of advantages and applications, which is why these are fast becoming popular for everything from building outdoor event halls to sporting facilities and even storage areas. It is best to familiarize yourself with this innovative architectural technology which many predict is the future of building and construction.

2. What are the most popular tensile canopy materials?

The materials used to make waterproof tensile canopies need to be considered since these make for durable shade and shelter solutions. 

Tensile structures consist of a membrane that is repellent to water and heat retardent and even creates a protective barrier against the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) rays. Here are the most commonly used materials used to make tensile canopies:

2.1. PVC

PVC or polyvinylchloride is regularly used as a coating for tensile fabric membranes and is the perfect material for tensile canopies coating since it is a highly durable and strong thermoplastic. 

PVC is a lightweight, affordable, and versatile material. These qualities make it a perfect replacement for more conventional building materials, like concrete, metal, wood, and even ceramics. PVC is waterproof  and fire retardant  in that it does not conduct heat, unlike a material like wood. 

PVC is especially suitable as a material for tensile structures since it can be molded into any shape. It is flexible, which is a quality necessary for tensile structures since they rely on the tension of the material, along with the geometric design for structural integrity. 

Flexible PVC possesses a high level of protection against UV rays, corrosion, acidity, and alkalinity, making it the perfect material for forming outdoor canopies and structures. 

PVC is coated on top of polyester to create a translucent, flexible, and strong membrane for structures and waterproof tensile canopies.

2.2. ETFE

ETFE or ethylene tetrafluoroethylene is another popular material for tensile structures. ETFE is usually found in the form of a film. The great thing about this material is that it is exceptionally lightweight, affordable, and has a high resistance to heat, up to 270 °C. This means that it is a very durable option as a building material. 

ETFE may be used in place of PVC if the tensile canopy or structure is required to be transparent. 

While PVC is a white polymer and can become translucent when stretched out, ETFE is completely transparent. It lets in all the light. ETFE is perfect for projects like greenhouses since they retain heat. 

This greatly reduces energy costs and makes for a great alternative to glass which can be broken and is quite heavy. 

2.3. PTFE

When it comes to waterproof tensile canopies, another material that you can commonly find is PTFE.

PTFE stands for polytetrafluoroethylene and is also known commercially as Teflon. Developed by DuPont, the material is coated on glass cloth to create a membrane that is strong and flexible. 

It is also nonstick, which means it can protect against everything from water to dirt and harmful chemicals that may compromise the structural integrity of a canopy or a building. 

PTFE differs from ETFE in that it is much more heat resistant, with a melting point of 327°C. However, PTFE is not as efficient at energy conservation as ETFE. The two materials are being used in combination with each other in recent years.

3. What are the different tensile canopy shapes?

Waterproof tensile canopies and structures are commonly available in the following shapes: 

3.1. Tent-like

Many tensile canopies or structures have a conical shape similar to that of a tent. Tensile structures need to be three-dimensional because the material is two-dimensional, which means it needs a design to protect against the elements, like rain, wind, and snow. 

The tent shape is formed by having a metal or wooden structure to support the tensile material. Tensile material is stretched and attached to the supporting structure, which gives the canopy or building its shape by providing the force of tension necessary to erect a tensile structure.

Conical tensile structures have a mast or masts that form the highest point of the tensile structure. 

3.2. Arched

Tensile canopies are also commonly shaped as arched structures. This shape is effective against rain and snow and can offer plenty of resistance against strong winds. 

The structure may even resemble a barrel vault, depending on the size of the canopy. Multiple systems of arches create a barrel. 

3.3. Hyperbolic

Hyperbolic structures are characterized by alternating curvature shapes. This shape is suitable for very large-sized tensile structures and canopies as the shape provides a lot of strength and stability. 

Much like other shapes, it is waterproof and designed to withstand tough conditions. 

3.4. Dome-shaped

Some tensile canopies are dome-shaped. This shape is achieved by inflating the tensile material using pneumatic air. The air causes the material to stretch and reach the desired shape. 

4. What are the uses of tensile canopies?

Tensile structures and canopies are exceptionally versatile in their applications and use. Since there is no limitation on size, as the tensile material can be installed in sections supported by a metal or wooden frame, the canopies and building can be as large as possible.

You can use waterproof tensile canopies to cover the patio or create a shaded area near the pool. They can also be used on a much larger scale, like in the case of airport and stadium canopies. 

Tensile structures are also used to cover amphitheaters, flex facades, and the like.

5. Advantages of Using Tensile Canopies

Here are all the reasons why tensile structures have gained prominence over the years:

5.1. Versatile

The concept of a tensile structure has tremendous potential. It is an ingenious design idea that makes use of the force of tension and combines it with a durable yet flexible material. This is why you can find tensile canopies everywhere from schools and homes to stadiums. 

5.2. Affordable

The material used for making waterproof tensile canopies is affordable. This makes it a feasible alternative to more expensive materials like fiberglass, metal, wood, and concrete.

 Since it provides the same benefits as many of the other materials when used as a protective layer, it makes sense to use tensile materials instead of more conventional materials.

5.3. Durable and resistant

The material used for waterproof tensile canopies is durable and protects against not just the weather but also harmful UV rays and corrosive chemicals. 

Tensile structures are waterproof and fire retardant  They do well under any kind of weather conditions, be it snow, rain, or heat. Tensile material also retains heat which reduces energy costs and is environmentally friendly. 

5.4. Low maintenance

Tensile structures are low maintenance. Being durable means that these canopies and structures rarely require repair. 

Cleaning the structure is also easy.

5. Customised Tensile Canopies

The greatest advantage of tensile structures is their customisable nature.You may get standard options; however, customisation  is a viable option. Whether you want waterproof tensile canopies for an outdoor dining area or a tensile membrane for a train station, anything is possible. 

Custom waterproof tensile canopies mean that a tailored option is available which is made to your needs and specifications. Getting custom tensile canopies is a cost-effective option as well because the canopy or structure is not unnecessarily large; it has just the right dimensions.

Custom solutions also provide a huge aesthetic value to your outdoor space, in addition to providing solar protection from the harmful UV rays.

Get A Tensile Canopy

If you are seeking a protective shading and shelter option, getting custom tensile canopies is an excellent idea. 

It is an affordable option and you can customize the canopy and create designs and structures that are not just practical but also eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing. Are you ready to get started? Get quotes in minutes with SD Sails!

Are tensile canopies waterproof?

Yes, tensile can be waterproof. Waterproof tensile canopies are usually treated with a UV stabilized resin, which forms a waterproof barrier that stops the water from leaking through the cloth. 

What is a tensile fabric canopy?

Tensioned structures, also known as tensile fabric structures, are canopies that feature cabling or wiring. This cabling provides crucial support to building structures by tensioning in the membrane system. Tensile fabric canopies can be breathable or waterproof.