An Insider’s Guide To Tensile Fabric Structures

Fabric Building Structure Provider

Tensile fabric structures have been around for a while now. They have existed in the form of simple tent-like structures to provide pre-tension to a fabric, enabling the structure to withstand loads of wind, rain, and snow.

Since the inception of tents, things have come a long way. Thanks to the analysis and rigorous work of architects and continuous technological progress, today, it has become much easier to manufacture all sorts of fabric structures. Eventually, large-scale tensile structures have peaked in popularity over the past few decades.

Today’s architects are using tensile fabric structures in the form of sweeping roofs, dismountable & relocatable pavilions, and more. As architects, designers, and contractors experiment with the creative boundaries of these forms, fabric structures continue to become popular all across the globe. Before hiring a fabric building structure provider In Kansas, make sure that you are well aware of the ways fabric buildings can benefit you.

An overview – a fabric structure

A tensile fabric structure is categorized by the tensioning of a fabric membrane system leveraging steel, cables, and wires. By tensioning the fabric membrane system, not only are creases removed, creating a clean appearance but the material is also invigorated to withstand extreme weather conditions or potential damage.

While endless dramatic shapes are possible with fabric structures, most are derivations of two shapes: the saddle and the cone. The saddle is a hyperbolic paraboloid, meaning that the fabric surface is categorized by two high peaks and two low points. Simply put, the saddle can be conceptualized as a warped rectangular grid. The cone resembles a volcano and is categorized by stacked radians or hoops.

Materials used in fabric structures

Today’s creative tensile fabrics can be categorized into the mesh and coated fabrics. Coated tensile fabrics are designed with woven cloth fabrics stabilized with a protective coating all over the structure.

The most common materials used in fabric structure include Poly Vinyl Chloride and Poly Tetra Fluro Ethylene.


Tensile fabric structures can be manufactured in all sizes and shapes. However, it is essential to consider how fabrics will stretch if pulled to create tension.

When it comes to tensile fabrics, the color white is the industry standard. However, while using the light-colored fabric, one can effectively reduce the amount of heat attracted to the structure. This is why it is the most sustainable choice.

PVC-coated polyester can be manufactured with varying ranges of transparency, light transmission.

Iron Span USA is one of the leading fabric building structure providers in the USA. Our experienced fabric structure design team will help adjust proper fabric pressure, creating long-lasting and sustainable buildings. Want to learn more? Get in touch with us today.

4 Ways To Build Safe Fabric Structures

Fabric Building Structure Provider

Fabric structures offer several benefits, including lower building costs, flexibility, speed of construction, and more sustainable designs. However, these benefits mean very little if the building itself is not safe and stable. With proper planning, maintenance, and design, Fabric Building Structure Provider can build a safe building. All while outperforming it in terms of initial and ongoing costs.

When building a fabric structure, here’s a list of critical considerations to prevent structural failures that endanger life and cause costly property damage. Of course, many things can cause structural failure, so this is not an exhaustive list. However, here are some of the best practices when building, designing, and maintaining fabric structures.

Build to Code

Many structures fail as they were never up to code. The Dallas Cowboys practice facility is one example. This membrane structure failed in a thunderstorm in 2009, leading to many injuries and millions of dollars in damages. According to the investigations, the structure had been inadequately designed.

Local codes are not only a legal benchmark. They’re an excellent gauge of minimum requirements for snow, wind, and other forces the building is likely to face. So for long-term safety and durability, following local codes for every project is the way to go.

Strong Foundation

Fabric structures are dynamic and can successfully use several different foundations, but this part of construction should not be overlooked. If your fabric structure is up for months, years, or even decades, it will require a proper foundation for the soil and terrain. Follow the manufacturer’s specifications. The foundation is critical because it supports the rest of the building—skimping here compromises the whole structure.

Don’t Take Shortcuts.

Designs that seem too good in terms of cost and ease of installation may take shortcuts. If the structure faces challenging weather, saving a little money upfront can prove very costly in the event of failure. You should use reputable suppliers with proven track records to design effective structures for similar applications and regions.

Remember the Fabric

The fabric is the last thing on a fabric building. People assume that different options all do the same thing and don’t carefully consider the other options. Many factors to consider include:

Tensile strength– You can use a product that provides the best tensile and seam strength in all environments.

Cleanability– Dirt and grime are unsightly, but they damage the underlying fabric. They can even lead to mildew growth that further damages the structure. Instead, use a self-cleaning product that retains its fundamental properties throughout the lifetime of the structure.

UV resistance- UV rays damage fabric roofs. You can choose a product with long-term performance in terms of UV resistance and color stability.

Flammability– Fire is a hazardous structural failure. Many fabrics are inherently flame resistant, while others need proper formulations of the coating compounds to provide permanent fire resistance. Safer fabrics offer peace of mind.

Longevity- You can choose a product that can stand up to decades and work as it did when it was installed first.

Ironspan follows the best structural design. We fabricate these buildings with the latest raw materials that are best suited for the fabric-covered structures.