Tension sails are the ultimate architectural shade design product. Unique, fully customizable and practical, tension sails are perfect for many uses including hotels, pool decks, parks, and terraces.
The shade sails are fixed and will not flutter. Tension is used to balance out the kite effect, in which the lift of the wind and drag of the sail combine to blow it in an upward direction. Tension holds the sails in place so they will not flap, sag, or accumulate water. ShadeFLA’s tension sails can resist winds up to 82 mph.
In addition to protecting guests from sun and light rain and keeping kids safe from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays, tension sails add a colorful, architectural element to a building or outdoor space.
Sails can be either triangular or hypar-shaped. A hypar, or hyperbolic paraboloid, has four corners, two attached to high points and two attached to low points. When the sail is tensioned, there is a twisting effect so the sail takes a unique shape (like a Pringle)! The sails are made from shade cloth that is specially designed to block the sun’s UVA and UVB rays while allowing air to pass through.
Sails may be attached either to columns or to wall attachments. The immense tension force in the sails requires larger than normal supports. Typically, columns will be 10” in diameter, use Schedule 80 steel, and require a 6’ to 10’ footer. Depending on the exact size of the sail, columns may be as large as 24” in diameter. Wall attachments can only be used if the wall has a steel frame. We can also design a custom steel frame with cantilevered arms or a square frame shape.
⅜” marine-grade stainless steel cable is used to tension the perimeter of the sails. For large custom structures, guy wires may be used in addition to columns to tension and stabilize the structure.
Tension sails are one of the most customizable shade products in the industry. Select from a wide variety of shapes and sizes, number of sails, fabrics, colors, column colors and styles, attachment options, and more.
Tension sails have a maximum length of 55’. There is no precise minimum length, but we don’t recommend purchasing a sail less with a length less than 15’.
We offer two types of shade fabric: Comtex by Polyfab and Monotec 370 series. For sails less than 40’, we recommend using Comtex. For larger sails, (40’ – 55’ in length) we recommend Monotec fabric.
We offer a wide variety of colors for column paint. Typically smaller or standard size columns will be powdercoated. For higher-end, custom steel structures, we offer on-site Epoxy painting.
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