I know the solution can be as simple as a well-sealed garbage can, but I am contemplating making a more malleable fabric based faraday-cage-esque contraption. The plan is to use nickle-copper fabric to achieve the shielding, I'll experiment with how many layers/folds create the best seal. It is to be placed outside, exposed to the elements, potentially incurring moderate to heavy rain. Before I get too heavily invested in this, I would like to really think about the shielding viability of the fabric in the long-term.

For reference, here is a generic picture of the nickel-copper fabric. Amazon has its fair share too, for those interested.

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Unlike its ferrous counterparts, nickel/copper do not rust but rather have a patina or tarnish that develops after weathering. Will nickel-copper fabric tarnish like we might expect a penny to tarnish? If so, what compromises to shielding would be sustained? Also, if so, would that compromise the structural integrity of the fabric (more prone to tears, ect)?

Further Clarifications: - exact chemical makeup of the fabric is uncertain, the one I bought was simply marketed as "nickel-copper fabric" so I assume its mostly nickel and copper, but it seems to have a fabric-like feel, so perhaps its mixed with some kind of substrate or something. If the consensus is that this information is crucial I'll try to track down the manufacturer and get specifics, but at the moment I don't have a practical means of going about that(manufacturer is unknown). You are free to speculate about common implementations of nickel-copper fabric and state your assumptions accordingly

  • shielding: I'm concerned that if the fabric weathers poorly, the shielding will be affected
  • tear resistance: I'm concerned that if the fabric weathers poorly there may be more points of failure, leading to easier tears in the fabric
  • health: the fabric will occasionally come in to close contact with humans (me) and I'm not sure if tarnished nickel-copper has any adverse health risks
  • set up: my design is too hypothetical to put into words at the moment, but you can imagine a tarp-like thing, outside layer is cordura (water-resistant, not water-proof) and inside layer is nickel-copper fabric

  • placement: outside, exposed to the elements, incurring rain

  • $\begingroup$ Apparently the fabric you are referencing is made from metal-coated polymer (PET) fibers. Unless covered with protection layer, it is likely to degrade over time. || Also, you might want to look for aluminium wire mesh. $\endgroup$
    – permeakra
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 6:21

2 Answers 2


Your alloy should be sufficient. For one, cupronickel alloys are very corrosion resistant and is used to make many different coins across the world. occasionally yes, a nickel or dime will tarnish but this is usually from exposure to soda, salt or some other corrosive liquid, other wise they can sit in a fountain for weeks without tarnishing. AS long as the acid rain isn't too severe, you should be okay.

As for the product you are considering, the description on amazon describes it as:

Copper+Nickel+Polyester Plated Fabric

Now plated metals do not necessarily have the same properties as the pure casted alloy since to plate on polymer requires using electroless plating and does not guarantee the same microstructure as a casted alloy, but corrosion should be unaffected.

See also: Monel


Weathering probably won't be a problem as long as it isn't exposed to acids too much. This alloy should be resistant to tarnishing especially well. On your health concern, it really should be fine; I wouldn't worry about that. Overall, sounds like a decent setup.


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