CSIRO scientists have produced Australia’s first entirely home-grown carbon fiber, paving the way for Australian industry to mass-produce the next generation materials, used in everything from bicycles and tennis rackets to satellites and fighter planes. Australia’s first carbon fiber was produced using polyacrylonitrile fiber, spun on the joint CSIRO/Deakin University wet spinning line, then carbonized at Deakin’s “Carbon Nexus” facility.
Cracking the carbon code will allow industry to manufacture this incredibly strong and lightweight material for the first time from scratch, using Australia’s own top secret recipe. Together with Deakin University, we’ve created the seed to grow our manufacturing industry in Australia – generating jobs of the future built on home-grown innovation.—CSIRO’s Chief Executive Dr. Larry Marshall
Carbon fiber combines high rigidity, tensile strength and chemical resistance with low weight, and is used in everything from aviation and defence to space and car manufacturing. Carbon fiber is only made by a handful of manufacturers around the world, each of whom hold their own patented recipes.
From wind turbines to aerospace, even the latest Mustang wheels, a carbon fiber industry signals the kind of reinvention needed across Australian industry, shifting our focus from raw exports to high value products to retain our global competitive advantage. This is another chapter in the innovation history of Geelong, where Australia’s first carbon fiber was created from scratch using CSIRO produced white fiber. It’s a major leap forward in turning the region into an international carbon fiber hub.—Dr. Marshall
The announcement that Australia has joined the elite club of carbon fiber manufacturers using CSIRO patented technology is the first step in creating a generation of carbon fiber that is stronger and of a higher quality.
We want 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.— CSIRO Research Director Dr. John Tsanaktsidis