From its beginning, Menardi identified customers' filtration needs and has always been a leader in the development and introduction of new products. As a company, our growth was built on new products and our reputation was built on excellent quality.
We began in 1913. The original company, Southern Press Cloth Manufacturing Company, was founded in Augusta, Georgia and owned by Mr. Fielding Wallace. Mr. Wallace was later to become one of the charter members of the Augusta National Golf Club and president of the U.S. Golf Association.
At that time, it was discovered that a vegetable oil could be extracted from cottonseed. This oil would soon replace the animal fat oils used for cooking and baking. The hydraulic filter presses designed to crush cottonseed and extract the oil required strong, flexible filter mats. There were no synthetic fibers available in those days from which to weave the filter mats, and it was determined the ideal fiber to use was human hair. Tons of human hair were shipped from China into Augusta, Georgia, for washing, processing, and weaving into filter mats. Southern Press manufactured these filter mats and serviced customers all over the world.
In time, nylon replaced hair as the fiber of choice for these filter products. In 1957, a group headed by Mr. Stewart Hull acquired the assets of Southern Press Cloth Manufacturing Company and a new company was formed and called Southern Press and Filter Media.
Southern Press and Filter Media was innovative in the use of synthetic fiber fabrics for industrial applications. Two of these innovations are still used worldwide today: polypropylene filter cloths for refining bauxite and needled felts for the production of viscose. Southern Press and Filter Media gradually emerged as a primary supplier of both wet and dry filter media for almost every conceivable industrial filtration application except those where high temperatures were involved.
During the time of this transition of Southern Press to Southern Press and Filter Media, another company was being developed in a different area of the U.S.A., focusing on products for high-temperature processes.
In the early 1950's, Menardi and Company was founded in southern California. The company manufactured filter bags and media from fiberglass for use in high temperature applications.
An early test site at Southwest Portland Cement Company in Victorville, California, utilized a silicone finish on the fiberglass. At that time, most dry filtration baghouses were the shaker design, including the one at this test site.
One weekend, the operations crew of Southwest Portland Cement Co. inadvertently left the shaker mechanism inactive, even though the plant continued to operate. The following Monday morning, they discovered that, even though the shaker mechanism had not operated over the weekend, the filter bags had cleaned themselves. The silicone finish released the dustcake easily once the cake acquired enough surface weight to break away.
At the same time, the Victorville test indicated that the violence to the fiberglass fibers from the shaking cycles was creating early fabric failure. With this new revelation of the relationship between dustcake and silicone finish release characteristics, a new concept in cleaning dry filtration media was developed. Today it is known as reverse air cleaning.
Reverse air works as an assistant to gravity to help in uniform dustcake release, and eliminates the early failure of the fiberglass fibers caused by the shaker design.
Menardi and Company determined that one of the best applications for fiberglass filter bags was their use in the carbon black industry because of the high temperatures and potential corrosivity of the dusts. At that time acrylic fibers and shaker baghouses were common to this industry. Menardi and Company was able to persuade the carbon black industry to replace their shaker style collectors, utilizing these greatly improved cleaning characteristics of fiberglass filter media. From 1958 to 1962 many other high temperature industries such as iron foundries, steel mills, cement processors, and specialty chemical companies began to use fiberglass filter bags with silicone finishes supplied by Menardi.
In the early 1960's, Menardi and Company made another breakthrough by developing what was then known as FLO-BAK® filter bag rings. These metal rings significantly improved the cleaning effectiveness of the reverse air style collectors. Early applications of the rings involved suspending them on the inside of the filter bag. This provided a mechanical means of preventing the collapse of the filter bag during the reverse air cleaning cycle.
Later, the FLO-BAK rings were sewn to the outside of the bag, with proper spacing between each ring. This design performed well and greatly reduced the cost of labor required to make the bag. Today, this method of producing filter bags is a worldwide standard and is most commonly referred to as "anti-collapse rings."
Menardi continued to pioneer the use of fiberglass media in dry filtration applications by introducing new fabric styles.
Many improvements were made in the finishes. In the 1960's, Menardi introduced GRAF-O-SIL®, a unique finish comprised of graphite, Teflon®, and a silicone. This development has been so successful that GRAF-O-SIL is the most widely used high temperature finish for fiberglass filter media today.
In 1968, Menardi developed the DISPOS-A-CAP® bag cap. This cap provided an easy method of attaching fiberglass filter bags to support structures inside a dry filtration collector. Today the DISPOS-A-CAP bag cap is the standard for attaching fiberglass and other filter media fabric bags to collector structures and is widely copied by other suppliers.
The Slick Corporation (later named U.S. Filter) acquired Menardi and Company in 1968 and Southern Press and Filter Media in 1969. Thus was born Menardi-Southern. This merger combined resources of two of the most respected companies in filtration for both liquid and dry applications. Since this merger, the company has been headquartered in the Augusta, Georgia area.
In 1972, Menardi-Southern and E.I.DuPont Company worked together in the developm,ent of TUFLEX®, a 100% Teflon finish for application to fiberglass filtration fabrics. In 1973 Menardi-Southern supplied a utility customer with fiberglass filter bags treated with the new finish for use on a coal fired boiler application. This successful application to coal fired boiler filtration collectors was a pivotal point for the utility industry in particulate emission control. Menardi's proprietary Teflon B finish, TUFLEX, has gained the reputation as the premier fiberglass finish in the marketplace.
Ashland Oil purchased Menardi-Southern in 1980. In 1982, Menardi-Southern began manufacturing its own filtration quality felt fabrics from polyester, polyaramids, nylon, polypropylene, PPS, and various other synthetic fibers.
Hosokawa Micron International, a global group of companies, acquired Menardi-Southern in 1985. In 1986, Menardi-Southern purchased the W.W. Criswell Company from the Henley Group. Because of the credibility and technical strengths of both companies, the company became Menardi-Criswell. This acquisition further expanded our opportunities to service customer's filtration requirement worldwide.
Environmental Filtration Technologies, then known as Beacon Industrial Group, a global group of companies focused on industrial filtration, acquired Menardi-Criswell in 2000 and the company became known simply as Menardi. Environmental Filtration Technologies has been acquired by Nederman, with the plan to merge the companies and strengthen our common customer proposition.
Nederman is the global leader in industrial air filtration. Please learn more about the Nederman group at www.nederman.com.
Today, Menardi is continually working to be the innovative leader in the development of new and improved filtration products. Strategically, we concentrate on product quality, customer service, and value added products through our commitment to research and development.
We are the only fabric filter producer with the capability to apply finish to fiberglass before it is processed into filter bags, a process so refined that it is now being copied by other suppliers. Our commitment to quality is unmatched.
Throughout our history, we have been the leader in innovation of new ideas. Our products and services have been field-tested and time proven.
We are a company committed to "INNOVATION IN FILTRATION FOR A BETTER WORLD." We are convinced that we offer the most innovative products, the broadest technology base, and the most experienced staff in the filter media industry.