Carbon fiber breakthrough to boost Australian industry

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/11/9 11:23:07

Australia has joined the elite world carbon fiber club, with the potential to revolutionize the country's manufacturing industry.

Scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have produced the country's first home-grown version of the ultra-strong yet lightweight material, paving the way to mass-produce next-generation materials used in everything from bicycles and tennis rackets to satellites and fighter planes.

CSIRO chief executive Dr. Larry Marshall said the development could boost Australia's global competitiveness by shifting the focus from raw exports to high-value products.

"From wind turbines to aerospace, even the latest Mustang wheels, a carbon fiber industry signals the kind of reinvention needed across Australian industry," Marshall said in a media release on Thursday.

"Cracking the carbon code will allow industry to manufacture this material for the first time from scratch, using Australia's own top-secret recipe."

"We've created the seed to grow our manufacturing industry in Australia - generating jobs of the future built on home-grown innovation."

Carbon fiber combines high rigidity, tensile strength and chemical resistance with low weight, and is used in everything from aviation and defense to space and car manufacturing.

It is only made by a handful of manufacturers globally, each of whom jealously guard their recipes.

CSIRO says its own patented technology is the first step in creating a generation of carbon fiber that is stronger and of a higher quality.

Research director Dr. John Tsanaktsidis said the aim of the project is to unlock carbon fiber's full potential.

"On our first attempt, we created car-quality carbon fiber -- we now expect to improve on that result and produce aerospace standard carbon fiber," he said.

CSIRO, formed in 1916, is Australia's peak science body. It is the federal government's agency for scientific research, tasked with improving the economic and social performance of industry for the benefit of the community.

It works with organizations around the world and publishes journals featuring research by leading scientists.

Among its most notable achievements, it developed the first commercially successful long-lasting polymer banknotes, which have been used as currency in Australia since 1988.

Posted in: INDUSTRIES

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