Stadium with PTFE coated fibreglass membranes

The final stage of the FIFA World Cup has never before been held as close to the equator as in 2014. Making use of lightweight textile architecture, the Arena da Amazonia provides the best possible protection from the sun and optimum ventilation. The design of the structure’s roof and facade called for 52,000 square metres of glass cloth. The fibreglass membranes are coated with 3M Dyneon PTFE, to ensure long-lasting protection, even in the tropical climate of Manaus in the South American rainforest.The stadium, designed by Berlin-based architectural firm gmp Architekten (von Gerkan Marg und Partner), draws its inspiration from the tropical rainforest. The supporting structure for the 35-metre high textile roof is modeled on the veins of leaves. The steel beams are designed as box girders, open at the top to channel the tropical rainfall. And to protect the 44,000 spectators from direct sunlight, the roof transitions seamlessly into a facade covering.

Ceno Tec GmbH from Greven, Germany, specialist in textile architecture, supplied 252 tailor-made sections for the Arena da Amazonia, using 52,000 square metres of fibreglass membranes coated with Dyneon PTFE. The real challenge: the individual membrane sections needed to be very accurately dimensioned on leaving the factory, as it was not possible to carry out any significant adjustment work at the construction site.

The membranes, manufactured and coated by Verseidag Indutex GmbH, based in Krefeld, Germany, are made from glass cloth with a tensile strength of up to 10,000 N/5 cm. Coating the membranes with the high-performance material Dyneon PTFE achieves an elongation at break of up to 600 per cent and protects the cloth against UV rays, humidity and other environmental effects.

PTFE belongs to the fluoropolymer family and needs no plasticisers or stabilisers, which can evaporate over time leading to brittleness of the coating. This means that, even after decades of use in a tropical environment, there are no cracks in which bacteria and fungi can lodge. At the same time, the surface is so smooth that it virtually cleans itself during a rainstorm.

Picture: 52.000 Fibreglass membranes coated with 3M Dyneon PTFE protect players and spectators from direct sunlight (source: © M. Bredt)

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