Technical textiles from cellar to roof

It is not a surprise that the use of technical textile products in the building sector is continuously increasing. According to requirements textile materials can be used from cellar to roof in line with standards and building regulations. The range of applications includes everything from spectacular architectural solutions for building structures to new armouring options in concrete construction and environmental protection for civil engineering works, such as covers for landfill sites. More and more companies are developing visionary concepts for building and civil engineering applications in collaboration with research institutes and universities.

Sketch of vapour retardant barrier for ceilings

Sketch of vapour retardant barrier for ceilings

When used underground geotextiles have the function of floor and / or external wall insulation to protect against soil moisture. Particularly in circumstances where building components are in contact with the earth controlled drainage must be enabled in order to avoid damp getting into the cellar wall. Traditionally gravel drains have been used. These have the disadvantage that they tend to become clogged up with particles of earth over the time they are used. This does not apply to geotextiles due to their extreme water permeability and filtration effect. One such geotextile is Typar from DuPont de Nemours. It consists of thermally bonded, infinite polypropylene fibres. Continuous, ultra-fine fibres are produced by extrusion and processed into a non-woven. Depending on the production setting resistant structures can be manufactured with various gauges of thread and different physical properties.

The vapour-tight barrier film from CaPlast is moisture barrier for floor panels against rising damp or can be used as a vapour retardant barrier in the ceilings between floors. The multi-layer special film consists of intermediate layers of corrosion protected aluminium that are covered on both sides with a geo-fleece. It is also used on concrete ceilings against residual damp during the setting process. The film is laid overlapping on a clean floor surface and raised 10 cm at the edges. Its double-sided fleece protects it from the roughness of the substrate. A clean and vapour tight seam can be achieved with the double-sided adhesive at the edges of the film.

But technical textiles can also be used for earthquake protection. In an earthquake you usually only have seconds to escape into the open air. A development from the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) extends the time available to escape by strengthening walls and holding back rubble. The research institute has developed is a glass-fibre plastic fabric with fibres in four axes that can be attached easily to the facade of the house with the right plaster. Particularly in the case of short and moderate earthquakes the additional tensile strength of the glass fibre components can minimise damage to the building. In the event that the glass fibres do rupture in a strong earthquake the elastic polypropylene fibres can hold the broken wall segments together and so keep the escape routes free.

Sketch of special roof film

Sketch of special roof film

Finally this high-tech fabric has now been developed for large scale production together with Dr. Günther Kast GmbH & Co. KG. The Italian building material manufacturer Röfix has now made it commercially available. In the longer term systems are being researched that can be applied effectively not only for masonry walls but also for concrete buildings.

Background picture: Source – KIT  Façade: Earthquake protection fabric

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Geotextiles for floor insulation

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