That supercar you drool over, those Formula One cars out on the track, many plane parts and military applications around the world all use one important ingredient – carbon fibre. Until now, there was no Aussie manufacturing facility – the CSIRO have changed that.
In partnership with the Deakin University, the CSIRO have built the important equipment required to give Australia this carbon fibre production capability – a Wet Spinning Line.
It’s not just about the machinery too, CSIRO and Deakin researchers have had to create a whole new process for manufacturing which they see as the next generation of carbon fibre, potentially stronger and higher quality.
The CSIRO’s Director of Future Industries, Dr Anita Hill, said the development was an important milestone.
“This facility means Australia can carry out research across the whole carbon fibre value chain: from molecules, to polymers, to fibre, to finished composite parts,” Dr Hill said.
“Together with Deakin, we’ve created something that could disrupt the entire carbon fibre manufacturing industry.”
It’s all done using a bunch of chemicals which the wet spinning line machinery turns into five hundred strands of fibre – thinner than a human hair each. These are then wound into a spool to create a tape and then huge carbonisation ovens are used to create the finished carbon fibre.
Given the machine is in Geelong, one hopes this plays a small but vital role in some future automotive endeavour, further cementing Geelong’s motoring heritage.