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SMI’s Tempro® helps veteran explorer attempt the coldest journey on earth

Tempro® proves to be the most efficient insulator of its type in the world.

On September 17, veteran polar explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, announced his latest expedition which will see him take on one of the last remaining polar challenges by attempting to cross Antarctica in winter – believed to be the coldest journey on Earth.

This is being made possible with support from a host of sponsors and supporters, amongst them Seymour Manufacturing (SMI) – the leading manufacturer of thermal insulation products, that is more often associated with the food retail, processing and manufacturing industries!

SMI has been selected to provide bespoke covers made from their proprietary Tempro® material that will cover the expedition’s two specially engineered cabooses, that will not only act as living quarters, but also as the base for a range of scientific work that will take place as part of the expedition. They will also provide storage given that the expedition will be completely self-sufficient for its six month duration and therefore has to carry everything it needs. They are also providing covers for the two D6N tractor units that have been adapted to tow the cabooses.

In its normal environments of food retail and manufacturing, Tempro® is often deployed because of its ability to save significant amounts of carbon and avoid energy loss. It can be used to provide thermal cover to transport temperature sensitive goods; as cold room curtains it can help prevent energy loss; and used as ceiling-hung temperature control zones (tcz’s) it can create a cold room in alien conditions. Even the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) has recognised its value as an outstanding insulator which can avoid thermal imaging.

Its role, however, in Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ latest challenge, named ‘The Coldest Journey’, will see it tested like never before.

When Brian Seymour, Chairman of SMI, was first approached by Sir Ranulph Fiennes he admits it was rather a daunting proposition:

“When Sir Ranulph first asked if we could help to protect him and his team in temperatures of around minus 70? Celsius, we knew this meant taking Tempro® and the SMI team well out of our comfort zone.  Nonetheless, always keen to take on a challenge, we agreed to make a first cover and put it through initial testing in Sweden earlier this year.

“The results in testing were quite astonishing!  We were in temperatures of minus 40? Celsius, yet inside the covers the temperature recorded (after just 10 minutes of heating every five hours) was plus 10? degrees Celsius!  A temperature difference of 50? Celsius! As one of the reporters present at the testing commented, this makes Tempro® something of a ‘wonder material’!”

As a result of the outstanding performance in Sweden, SMI was commissioned to supply an enormous cover for the 40’ living-quarters caboose; a 20’cover for the science caboose; and two covers for the D6N tractor units that have been specially converted for the expedition by Cannock-based Finning (the No.1 provider for Caterpillar equipment for the UK and Ireland). The two covers for the D6Ns roll up and can be stored on the roof for quick and easy deployment in storm conditions.

Speaking on the day the expedition was announced, Brian Seymour adds:

“We will be keeping a keen eye on the expedition’s progress and look forward to Tempro® having a role to play in this history-changing event.  We hope that our core markets already using Tempro® products will also realise what a world-leading product they have working for them in their own daily challenges.”

More information on the challenge can be found at:


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