The types of materials flexible and strong enough for architectural tensile membrane purposes are woven fabrics and foils. Woven fabrics consist of two set of yarns (warp and weft) woven together in a loom. Foils, on the other hand, are made of thinly rolled or extruded homogeneous material. The most common woven fabrics suitable for architectural applications are fiberglass, the aramids, olefins, nylon, acrylic, cotton, and polyester. Read more
In order to understand this principle we must first take a look at heat transfer in general.
Heat and Temperature
Heat is a measurement of the motion of the molecules that make up a substance, and represents the energy contained in the substance. In hot substances, the molecules are moving relatively quickly. We call something cold when the molecules are moving slower, but their motion is still called heat.
Temperature, on the other hand, is a measure of how something feels to us. An object that feels cold has a low heat content, but the object still contains heat.
Heat always moves from a warm object to a colder one. The important thing to remember is that cold isn’t transferred, because cold is just a qualitative description of low heat. A warmer object may cool off, but that is because it is losing heat, not gaining cold. For example, there is no such thing as letting cold in, rather you are letting the heat out. Read more
Much has been written about the sustainability and advantages of hemp as a crop and its many uses. Hemp fabric has a lot of advantages over other vegetable and synthetic fabrics. Here are a few:
-Hemp is the strongest vegetable fiber on the planet with up to three times the tensile strength of cotton. Hemp fabric is also very tear resistant. This is why historically hemp was used to make rope, sails, and flags.
-Hemp fiber is filled with minute air pockets that make it both thermally and acoustically insulating. This “spongy” quality also makes help very breathable.
-Hemp fabric can shield more than 95% of the sun’s harmful UV rays.
-With its high silica content, hemp is resistant to the damaging effects of insects and other pests.
-Like cotton and several other vegetable fibers, hemp has high heat-resistance, an advantage over synthetics.
There are those who claim that hemp is a highly evolved plant species. It has the ability to grow well in a variety of climates and soil types. Naturally pest resistant, it grows very tightly spaced and will out-compete any weeds, eliminating any need for herbicides. For these reasons, hemp has never been genetically modified (and hopefully never will).