Deakin University carbon fiber center sees a successful first year

Australia-based Deakin University recently received an Australian Research Council $4.7 million grant for the new Future Fibers Industrial Transformation Research Hub.

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It’s been a busy first year for Deakin University's Carbon Nexus research center. It has reportedly attracted industrial partners from nine countries, produced 75 batches of carbon fiber for research trials and received nine local and national research excellence awards. In May, it was announced the university would receive a $4.7 million ARC grant for the new Future Fibers Industrial Transformation Research Hub (ITRH) to develop advanced carbon fibers and nanofibers to support more sustainable and advanced manufacturing.

ITRH will build upon Deakin's extensive expertise in carbon fiber development and advanced materials. It draws together partners from government, industry and higher education, including the Australian Government's national science agency, the CSIRO.

Another recent announcement was a $1.76 million Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund grant for Carbon Nexus and Quickstep to establish a dedicated automotive division to be located at Deakin University.

"The Australian Research Council (ARC) funding for the ITRH is one example of how government and industry are confident in Carbon Nexus' capacity to lead the way on the path to creating the world's best carbon fiber and to driving the jobs of the future," said Carbon Nexus Director Derek Buckmaster.

Buckmaster participated in the inaugural meeting of the Institute of Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), and said the global manufacturing industry was growing increasingly excited about the future capabilities of carbon fiber.

"There are so many reasons to be excited about the future of advanced manufacturing through the development of better, lighter, stronger and more cost-effective carbon fiber," he said. "Carbon Nexus is well on the way to developing the most cost-effective PAN (polyacrylonitrile) based carbon fiber targeted for specific applications. This brings us one step closer to one of our main aims – reducing the cost of industrial-grade carbon fiber materials."