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AuthorTensar International

DateApr 11 2013

Tensar International, a global leader in soil-reinforcement and ground stabilisation technology, has seen its groundbreaking Tensar/Netlon technology named as a Great British Innovation in a poll voted for by the British Public.

Developed by the GREAT Britain campaign, the Science Museum Group, Engineering UK, the Royal Society, the British Science Association, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Great British Innovation Vote saw over 50,000 votes cast to select the British innovations which had made the largest impact on the country in the last 100 years. The competition was launched to coincide with National Science & Engineering Week.

Tensar’s technology was recognised by a number of voters, finishing within the top 20 in 18th position. The past innovation recognised by the public as being the most significant was Alan Turing’s ‘Universal Machine’.

Netlon and Tensar were described in the Great British Innovation Vote as ‘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.’ Tensar’s products, which have been adapted to meet the demands of modern building methods, can be today found in a wide range of construction sectors – from wind farms to car parks and railways to pavements.

Joe Cavanaugh, Vice President and General Manager (EMEA) at Tensar, said of the public vote: “When we discovered that Tensar and Netlon technology had been shortlisted for the public vote we were naturally delighted, but to be recognised by the British public in this way is a great feeling. There were a number of outstanding innovations listed as part of the vote, which makes it even more rewarding that our products have been rewarded with a place in the top 20. We would like to thank everybody who took the time to vote for Tensar and supported the Great British Innovation Vote, which is a great initiative that highlights the heritage of manufacturing and science in Great Britain.”

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.

Today Tensar has evolved its offering based on this process, introducing products such as its market leading TriAx geogrid, which uses a triangular shape to form a mechanically stabilised base layer for ground stabilisation and pavement applications.

To see Tensar’s page and to learn more about the Great British Innovation vote, visit

For more information about Tensar International please visit