A North Midlands business is responsible for an innovative new metallic material that could radically alter the filter industry. Known as ‘Fibresheet’, this material is porous as paper, yet strong as steel; lighter than cloth but formable into complex shapes.
This material has tremendous potential in the automotive, aerospace and construction industries, and is the result of 6 years of research by Fibretech and their partners at Cambridge University. Fibresheet has excellent filtration and sound deadening properties, and is able to withstand huge differences in operating temperatures.
The material resembles a metallic J Cloth, and indeed is created in a similar way. These stainless steel fibre sheets are heated to extremely high temperatures using a specially designed vacuum furnace and the very fine filaments of stainless steel fibres are bonded together to produce a sheet as thin as1.2 mm thickness.
The process is known as ‘sintering’, and Fibretech has developed an innovative, low cost method of producing this wonder material from stainless steel scrap.
Fibresheet’s resistance to corrosion, and its ability to retain its properties in a wide range of temperatures make it an ideal material in many hostile environments.
The ability to cut, weld and form the material into complex shapes is another major advantage, and offers considerable benefits to the filtration industry.
The material is suitable for a variety of uses in the automotive and aerospace field, particularly noise reduction, and can be used as a bespoke replacement of exhaust parts, such as the perforated tube and wrap.
Its excellent thermal and acoustic properties are also suitable in the construction industry, where it has applications as a heat exchanger, electromagnetic shielding, fire protection, vibrational damping and noise reduction.
Lee Marston, technology manager at Fibretech, is justifiably proud of the company’s products. “Fibresheet is the result of over 6 years collaborative research with Cambridge University’s prestigious Gordon Laboratory.”
Fibretech is a prime example of a small company using innovative technology, and collaborative processes to forge solutions for a sustainable future.