Global greenhouse cultivation of vegetables is clearly on the rise. It is estimated that by 2030, around 50% of lettuces in the USA will come from greenhouses. Under the controlled environmental conditions of protected cultivation, many crops can be grown much more efficiently than in the time-honored open field system. "A high-performance film can help make the construction of such greenhouses cheaper and even more efficient," says Gerald Friederici, head of application technology at the Frankenthal-based company CMC Klebetechnik Ltd.
Gerald Friederici believes in the application potential of ETFE adhesive tape for modern commercial horticulture.
The specialized company produces and markets so-called ETFE repair tape. Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene is a very durable film that, unlike common foil tunnel greenhouses, does not become brittle and crack after a few years, Friederici said. "The material easily withstands heat, cold, hail, strong UV radiation and chemicals - for well over 20 years. The film also survives mold, bacteria or permanent exposure to moisture without any damage."
Weather-resistant repair process
Together with its high transparency into the UV range, ETFE film is an ideal solution for professional greenhouses, he said. "This is because it weighs only a fraction of glass or polycarbonate panels, which is why the substructure can be much lighter. Unlike glass, the elastic film will not even penetrated by large hailstones. The tear resistance is also excellent," Friederici continues.
In times of climate change and recurring weather problems, however, it can still occur that the film is perforated. Before having to replace entire roof or sidewall elements, a special ETFE adhesive tape from CMC Klebetechnik can help. Friederici: "The repair tape consists of a 0.1 mm thick, transparent ETFE film and is coated with a strong adhesive. This adhesive adheres so well even to the dirt-repellent surface of ETFE films that such a bond is permanently weather-resistant. The adhesive joint is almost invisible and does not affect the results."
Combined glass/foil roof of Jungpflanzen Rudolf Sinn, D-Lustadt.
Modern solutions for large-scale producers
The ETFE adhesive tape CMC 77700 can be obtained in widths of 50 mm and 100 mm. Custom widths are also possible, for example for chafe protection on booms and beams. "Regardless of the particular user's operation, our ETFE adhesive tape often eliminates the need for costly repairs to greenhouse films, while being as durable as the film itself."
Images: CMC Klebetechnik GmbH