Air Filled Pillow. Depending on project specific thermal performance requirements, ETFE pillows are comprised of 2, 3 or 4 layers of membrane which are edge welded into sealed units. The thickness of each layer is determined structurally and varies from 100 to 500 microns. Any layer can be printed for shading and a variety of prints and custom options exist, including reverse printed operable layers. The pillow edges are fed into “keder” aluminum edge profiles which mechanically hook to larger custom aluminum profiles with internal drainage secured to the substructure. Profiles can be anodized or powder coated. Pillows are air filled under low pressure by dual chamber pumps and varied sensors and controls are available. Continuous pumping is not required as the system is closed. The pillow form and internal pressure resist applied loads. Wrinkles are reduced or eliminated via the use of Novum’s in-house developed software which predicts potential prone areas and adjusts the geometric form locally to avoid any wrinkles.
Air filled pillows are very large in comparison to conventional metal, plastic or glass cladding panels allowing nominal structure and a different architecture than conventional claddings require and there is limited secondary framing. Hence, integrated pillow and structure is faster to site, quicker to build and economical. A further advantage of the system is that pillows readily fit to warped surfaces. Conventional rectangular pillows can be very long over 60m (200‘) with widths depending on environmental loadings, but typically in the 2-4m range. Pillows can be any shape, triangular through octagonal, and have been successfully used in complex freeform structures with the size a function of loads and the shape itself.
ETFE material allows light to migrate along its surface. Hence, introducing exciting ways to use lighting effects to change the entire architectural environment which is of great interest in public spaces, arenas, retail applications and more. Plants thrive below ETFE due to its properties and the system is designed with recycling and corrosion resistance in mind.
Applications vary but include atriums, roofs, canopies, walls, lighting/marketing displays, sports arenas, swimming centers, horticultural/garden centers, transportation hubs and more.