Solar Control

Selecting foils and treatments that improve the solar control of a building envelope in any given environment is a specialised discipline.

Texlon® ETFE is an extremely transparent material, the light transmission of a single layer of foil ranges from 88%-95% over the entire solar spectrum. A 200μm ETFE foil is almost 20% more transparent than a 3 mm pane of float glass. It is possible to change the aesthetic and thermal performance of the Texlon® system by applying speciality coatings, printing, and by introducing additional layers of foil. These methods will all help improve comfort levels inside of a building. The occupants are shielded from heat gain, IR and harmful UV radiation, while simultaneously enjoying natural daylight.

ETFE foils are traditionally printed with silver pigments because silver reflects the solar radiation better than other colours. The foils are available in three shades of silver – light, medium and dark. Gold and white lacquers tend to be used for aesthetic purposes, rather than for shading or thermal performance. Modified graphic patterns can be designed upon request.

The Texlon® Vario system overlaps graphics on two or more layers of foil. It is possible to change the aesthetic, insulation and thermal performance by pneumatically arranging the layers. Graphic templates must meet geometrical patterning requirements.

Solar control is the reduction of the amount of solar energy passing through the Texlon® system, visible light transmission, re-radiated heat gain or loss and convection. The most important terms used to measure solar control and thermal comfort are:

Light Transmission (Tvis): the portion of incident visible light in the spectral distribution range between 380 and 780 nm that passes directly through the element (e.g. glazing or ETFE) into the building. It is expressed as a percentage in accordance with EN 410.

g-value: the total amount of solar energy that enters the inside of a building by reflection, absorption and re-radiation in the wavelength range between 300 nm and 2500 nm. It is sometimes referred to as Solar Factor or Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). A low g-value indicates high comfort levels inside a building.

Printing technology expertise