In 1938 Dupont first synthesised Teflon® PTFE (Poly Tetra Flouro Ethylene), which has very low friction characteristics and outstanding chemical resistance. The advent of PTFE paved the way for the development of other fluoropolymer products including ETFE (Ethylene Tetra Flouro Ethylene). In the early 1970s Dupont and Hoechst introduced the first commercially extruded ETFE foils under the brand names of Tefzel® and Hostaflon® respectively.
ETFE’s high tensile strength, resistance to tearing, excellent light transparency, and low flammability, meant that it was ideally suited for architectural applications. However, the high service temperature also meant that it was difficult to process. In 1981, Dr Stefan Lehnert of Vector Foiltec, invented a drop bar welding technique that was capable of welding large sheets ETFE, this breakthrough made possible the development of ETFE in modern roofing & cladding systems.