What Makes ExxoTec™ Fabric Superior
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 tension fabric builders we have talked with use PE (polyethylene) fabric. What is the advantage of ExxoTec™ over PE?
A. PVC and PE fabric do have some notable differences, including:
- Initial cost
- Light transmittance
ExxoTec™ Elite fabric provides twice the strength of the PE fabric typically used in North America, translating into longer life and a more extended 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 conducting a strength and performance test driving a fully loaded skidsteer on a sample of the fabric, and within 24 hours, there was no sign of damage to the fabric.
Independent studies have shown ExxoTec™ to outperform other PE fabrics in initial strength tests. ExxoTec™ has a greater initial strength per square inch and retains 91% of its 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. PVC fabric is durable and designed to last a long time – Legacy’s ExxoTec™ has a 20 to 25-year warranty. Our fabric is thicker and heavier than standard PE fabric. Compared to PE, ExxoTec fabric has higher tear strength, making it a popular choice for buildings exposed to extreme conditions.
Q. Can damaged fabric be easily repaired?
A. Fabric structures are designed to withstand the rigors of everyday use. However, age, accident, and extreme weather conditions can cause damage to the fabric cover.
Our installation crews can repair any size of tear, and 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 an excellent option for wide clear span 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 the initial install.
Q. Does the fabric add any rigidity to the structure that is counted on in the design?
A. Though the 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 building 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.
Many aspects determine the quality of a fabric structure. Legacy Building Solutions is the only source of ExxoTec™ PVC Fabric. Talk to one of our building experts to learn more about all the benefits of our fabric and the factors that go into a successful tension fabric structure.