according to lightweight structures association (lsa), a division of the industrial fabrics association international, a tensile structure, also named as tension structure is a structure characterized by a tensioning of the fabric or pliable material system (typically with wire or cable) to provide critical support to the structure.
the decision rests on various factors such as the budget, nature of business, applications of the structure, expected return of investment etc. all these factors need to be taken into consideration before installing tensile structure at your facility. the high cost is due to the high stress loads in concentrated places and also the steel and foundations of the structures used are expensive. but the costs would look negligible compared to the amount of business installing a tensile structure will bring.
depending on the material of the fabric, place of installation, size of the structure, complexity of the design, governmental regulatory compliances, scope of work and other engineering over head costs contributes to the cost of a tensile structure.
typically, steel is used to construct frames and cables stainless steel or clear pvc coating is used to make cables to protect from corrosion. for steel frames, a smooth layer of powder coat over a base of primer will be used for its finish. the actual tensile structures are usually made of high tensioned architectural fabrics such as ptfe (polytetrafluoroethylene) or pvc.
the time taken to finish a tensile structure depends on the material used and the complexity involved with the installation process. but ideally a project installing a tensile structure takes about 5 to 12 months to complete.
Hot air rises out the top between the knitted yarns of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). This draws outside air into the structure from the sides, which creates continuous air movement. cable-tensioned fabric shade canopies, shade sails, and permanent shade umbrellas reduce ambient air temperature up to 20 degrees. By contrast, hardened roofing materials (i.e. metal, wood, plastic, tile, stone, etc) and conventional awning fabric traps hot air inside the structure.
The purchase price of tension sun shade shelters is considerably less for same-size structures of comparable quality. Installation price is only a fraction and sites are disrupted for only a few days because structures arrive prefabricated. There are no maintenance costs, except for the occasional hosing to remove dirt and bird droppings.
Steel columns and frames are warranted for 20 years. They're factory-welded to be watertight and are protected with a powder coat finish. There's a limited 10-year warranty on the Ambre fabrics. All are designed to withstand 3-second wind gusts of at least 85 MPH with the fabrics attached. Our structures meet Indian Building Code, which is the world's toughest.
Our shade canopies, shade sails and giant shade umbrellas are all permanent "tension sun shade shelters" a.k.a "tension fabric shade structures." However, canopies have an upper steel frame, over which shade cloth is tensioned into various roof shapes. Shade sail structures don't have upper frames. They merely consist of columns, shade cloth sails and the hardware to attach them and maintain proper tensioning.
This really is a simple process that is relatively undisruptive to your school or business. We recommend that you allow one day for installation for the smaller Signature Structure products e.g. the Pagoda, Pod, Skylar. For the larger structures, such as the Double or Triple conic and Bandshell, please allow 10 – 30 days depending on your site conditions.
In most cases plant machinery such as a cherry picker is required for installation. We recommend you provide your Account Manager with a site plan as early as possible.
The whole process takes on average 8 and 10 weeks from receipt of your order and deposit, sometimes longer if planning permission is required. Lead-in times can vary seasonally so we always recommend you check with your Account Manager if your schedule is tight.
Our production schedule is 8 – 20 weeks depending on the design and structure from the time your order is placed (and your deposit received). If units are in stock, then delivery will be sooner. Bear in mind that time must be allocated for your structural engineer and builder to prepare the foundation.
Due to the nature of tensiles and their curved canopies, the water will naturally drain off to the lowest point. This will usually mean the water runs to the legs, which are normally hollow steel. However, it is worth noting that in heavy rain, water will run off all edges of the canopy. Some structures have integral drainage so the water will run to a spout at the bottom of the mast. There are all sorts of gutter applications we can add to a structure and we deal with this on an individual basis.
They can be if we use PVC-coated fabric. But shade cloth (Ambre fabric) is preferable for most Indian applications. It's water resistant, meaning that most rainwater (i.e. 90%+) will shed as though "waterproof". This is due to its pitch (i.e. "slope") and drum-tight tensioning. In fact, only fine mists will come through the fabric during intense rainstorms. Besides, rain comes in from the sides anyway because it seldom falls straight down from the clouds. Why spend so much more for PVC fabric, which traps hot air inside the structure like conventional roofing materials?
Contrary to popular belief the fabric used for tensile fabric structures is generally not stretchy. In fact a non stretchy fabric is preferred, as it offers the best predictability for the design and installation of the structure.
Stretchy fabrics such as 'Lycra' and other 'Lycra' based fabrics can be used for certain applications but due to their low fire retardency, can generally not be used for interior or exhibition use in the India.
The fabric form is computer generated using a specific programmer for the industry. This 'form' is then converted into flat panel which then can be but out to create paper patterns or the information can be used to computer cut the panels on a plotter/cutter. Although the flat fabric is not specifically stretchy, it will stretch a very small amount particularly across the bias of the fabric. If this stretch is more than a specific percentage, then the stretch amount has to be compensated for and thus the additional length that it will provide has to be deducted from the panel size.
Because of the nature of fabrics used, the presence of the double curve and the process of manufacturing, tensioning is always required in order to induce the correct shape and take out any minor creases in the fabric.
This tensioning can take many forms from simply hand pulling a canopy into place and Velcro fixing, to tensioning a corner of a canopy with a rigging screw or turn buckle depending on the size of the structure and the way in which it is to be used.
While each structure’s size is fixed, they have been designed to work in multiples. Several structures can be utilized to create impressive compositions which greatly increase shade coverage.