As per the FSA (Fabric Structures Association), a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, a tension structure or tensile structure is a structure that is characterized by a tensioning of the fabric or pliable material system (typically with wire or cable) to provide the critical structural support to the structure.
Tension structures are fabricated as permanent or temporary canopy structures for commercial or public assembly, temporary event structures, modular industrial construction and landscape artwork. This unique fabric canopy strives for a light and airy look by minimizing the amount of framing and utilizing the strength of the fabric to help support the stability and equilibrium of the structure.
Fabric tensioned structures are typically used as a lightweight roof, protective cover, shelter, skylight, advertisement and/or identification for stadiums, arenas, shopping malls, amphitheaters, bandshell, stage cover, tents, and shade structures for airport and transportation depots.
Tension structures utilize technical fabric roof membranes, a combination of catenary cables and clamping systems, and a minimal amount of framing to create proportionally lightweight structures capable of spanning great distances. Tensile membranes are available in exterior grade vinyl and woven fabrics and Teflon™ coated fiberglass. These translucent tensioned membrane structure fabrics carry from seven to twenty year warranties.