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fabrics of modern society North West,

Netlon fencing on a building site.
Tensar geogrids used to stabilise road construction worldwide

Netlon and Tensar are materials that are woven into much of the fabric of the modern world; their uses range from highway crash barriers to fishing nets and from bags for holding fruit and vegetables to building site safety netting. It is thought that Netlon is only the ninth basic textile process to be invented since civilisation began. The revolutionary process was based on extruding molten plastic into mesh structures, rather than using the traditional process of weaving. 

The product’s inventor, Brian Mercer (1927-1998), filed the patent for Netlon in 1956 and continued improving the material throughout his career. His extensive research led to the invention of Tensar in 1978, a plastic grid that is famed for being as strong as steel.

Royal Society

Engineering, Chemistry,
North West
Blackburn, Lancashire
Key Individuals
Brian Mercer,