In this blog series “Answers from the Engineer”, our panel of fabric structure experts answers questions from industry insiders submitted during recent webinars. Today’s questions relate to our exclusive ExxoTec™ fabric.
Q. Most of the fabric builders we have talked with use PE (polyethylene) fabric. What is the advantage of ExxoTec™ over PE?
A. ExxoTec™ Elite fabric provides twice the strength of the PE fabric typically used in North America. This translates into a longer life and a longer warranty than PE and PVC fabric alternatives.
Q. How does the fabric hold up?
A. The fabric holds up very well to years of use. Here’s a video we did where we drove a fully loaded skidsteer on a sample of the fabric, and within 24 hours there was no sign of damage to the fabric.
ExxoTec™ Elite has performed highly in tests that measure both initial strength and strength after weathering – retaining 91% of its initial strength after 13 years of exposure to the elements.
Q. Can you give us an idea of the fabric building pricing using ExxoTec™?
A. Typically the cost of the fabric is similar to the cost of metal cladding. However, fabric has several other cost-saving advantages: faster installation reduces construction expenses, natural light for lower energy costs, and the non-corrosive nature of the fabric lasts longer in corrosive environments.
Q. What effect do extreme temperatures have on ExxoTec™?
A. The fabric is designed to withstand and perform in natural weather temperatures that occur around the world. The normal ranges would be from -40 degrees F to +125 degrees F.
Q. Does mold form on the exterior of the fabric of storage buildings due to humidity and stored crops?
A. It is possible for mold to form on the exterior of some low-quality fabrics. ExxoTec™ has a protective coating layer designed to resist this, and is a self-cleaning material.
Q. What is the guaranteed life of the fabric by Legacy for typical use?
A. Legacy’s ExxoTec™ PVC fabrics carry 20- and 25 year-warranties on new buildings.
Q. Can damaged fabric be easily repaired?
A. Our installation crews can repair any size tear. Repairs can be welded onto the building fabric for a quick and effective repair
Q. Can you walk on the fabric after it is installed?
A. Yes. ExxoTec™ is extremely strong and can carry a significantly greater load than an unsupported metal panel. The material has a high strength-to-weight ratio, making it a great option for wide clearspan buildings.
Legacy completed a practical fabric load test in which we placed and drove a 10,000 lb. skidsteer on a suspended panel. See the video here.
Q. Do you ever see cases of membrane relaxation and slackening over time?
A. When the fabric is properly tensioned both horizontally and vertically using Legacy’s patented attachment system, the fabric should not need to be re-tensioned after initial install.
Q. Does the fabric add any rigidity to the structure that is counted on in the design?
A. Though fabric does serve as a redundant brace to the top flange, we do not assume any support in the frame analysis. The only support comes from the purlins and flange braces.
Q. Is ExxoTec™ fabric highly combustible?
A. The fabric is considered non-combustible and a popular option for applications requiring a flame retardant building material. In fire situations, when the heat gets very high the fabric shrinks away from the extreme heat source and allows the heat to vent, minimizing the impact of the heat on the buildings.
Legacy Building Solutions is the only source of ExxoTec™ PVC fabric. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of fabric for your use.