If you’re a sports fan, ANY sports fan, you’ll already know that the excitement you feel experiencing a live event inside a stadium is incomparable to sitting at home watching it on ‘The Box’.
Let’s take Football, for example. (Or ‘soccer’ to our American friends…)
Being at a game is about more than seeing your team score goals, but the euphoria and camaraderie you feel when celebrating with other passionate fans around you.
And, I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s always a better experience sitting in a stadium that’s well-protected from unpredictable and unpleasant weather.
(Especially here in the UK…)
And thanks to PTFE roof coatings this is now a common sight in stadiums and venues around the world.
A Brief History…
In the late 1960s, Walter Baird, an aeronautical engineer, developed a material that was based on the success of spacesuits used by NASA earlier in the same decade.
After its initial use, this material was recommended to be used as an architectural-tensile fabric for large, commercial spaces.
A few years down the line, in the early 2000s, the NRG Stadium opened in Houston that boasted the first retractable roof.
This is what really ‘kicked off’ the trend for PTFE roof coatings to be used for building better user and player experiences in sports arenas the world over.
What Makes PTFE an Excellent Architectural Choice?
PTFE is known for several beneficial properties such as its durability, cost-effectiveness, and low maintenance.
Overall, apart from the obvious structural advantages PTFE also reduces glare and illuminates the entire arena too.
The process used in its production is ‘Aqueous Dispersion’ .
This process improves the tensile strength of the material that allows roof membranes to stay in place and also makes the roofing fabric non-stick.
What Is Aqueous Dispersion?
Aqueous Dispersion is a two-phased milling technique used to uniformly dissolve extremely small particles in water.
When building a roofing material, aqueous dispersions of negatively charged PTFE particles as small as 0.25 to 0.28 micrometers are applied to the roofing fabric.
In the next step, this fabric is dried and baked and then passed through a sintering process at high temperatures between 195 F and 750 F. This makes the fabric ready to be used in larger facades such as those of a stadium.
Modern Stadiums that Boast of PTFE-Coated Materials…
PTFE-coated structures have become so popular in sports venues that you will now find them in most leading stadiums, from ‘soccer’, American football, through to tennis.
Here are a few you might know…
Red Bull Arena
Home to the New York Red Bulls Soccer team, this stadium, located in Harrison, NJ, boasts of a partially closed glass roof, which is coated with PTFE, a part of which is translucent, allowing ample light to enter the stadium.
Stadium Mario Filho
This wonderful stadium in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil hosted memorable events such as the FIFA world cup and the Olympics. It was renovated in 2014 with a new roof made of PTFE-coated glass fabric. The structure was built on a cable rope base and forms an appealing design.
The Brazilian soccer team Sport Club Internacional plays out of the Estadio Beira stadium in Porto Alegre. It was one of the venues that hosted the 2014 FIFA world cup and went through major renovations back then. Of the changes made, a PTFE-coated glass roof was a major one.
Porto Alegre Soccer Stadium
Yet another Porto Alegre soccer stadium in Brazil that got a new PTFE-coated glass roof during the FIFA world cup. Along with the glass fabric, the stadium is covered with translucent PTFE-covered laminated mesh that allows the entry of ample sunlight.
Cbus Super Stadium
At the other end of the world, it’s Australia’s chance to show off an impressive stadium whose facade was built using PTFE-coated glass. The Gold Coast-based soccer stadium offers natural ventilation and light into the arena, giving a superb match-viewing experience for the fans.
Arthur Ashe Stadium
The famous grand slam venue holds some of the most admired tennis courts in the world. Legends have been made here in front of excited tennis fans.
Despite the fame of Arthur Ashe. The foundation of the stadium is not a strong one, which meant a rigid, ‘heavy’ roof wasn’t an option.
PTFE fabric to the rescue!
Now, two huge PTFE panels cover the stadium, much like an umbrella, without disturbing the weak ground.
Evolved Sports Venues
The passion of the fans and the diligence of the players in any kind of sport is unchangeable over time.
Needless to say…The arenas have.
As the size of the modern venues increase the engineering has to adapt to protecting both the fans who are out there to cheer for their teams and the athletes themselves.
PTFE-coated roofs for stadiums not only fit the bill but also help sports venues evolve constantly for a more comfortable experience whatever the weather or needs may be.
If you would like to know more about how Product Release could help your industry, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our experts, who can discuss your problem and recommend an innovative solution that will not only help you now but will minimise future damage or repairs, giving you peace of mind.