Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI) and Kanto Wire Products have established a joint venture company to handle the sales, marketing and engineering of EM fibre, a new woven-sheet composite metal and glass fibre that absorbs unwanted or reflected microwave radiation.
The recent spread of IT equipment has led to a rise in unwanted microwave signals, especially in cities where buildings can deflect and scatter microwaves, causing receivers to malfunction.
In its first commercial application in Japan, EM Fibre is being used to improve the performance of sensors for electronic toll collection (ETC) systems. Panels of EM fibre are attached to buildings close to the ETC system, preventing microwaves from reflecting off the buildings and causing the ETC sensors to register vehicles twice, or sometimes not at all.
SEI and Kanto Wire started developing EM fibre in 1996, after weaving Kanto’s stainless steel fibre and glass fibre together, and discovering its microwave-absorbing capabilities.
EM fibre sheets are 20-25 millimetres thick, and weigh only 3-4 kilograms for each square metre.