The $13.2 million Future Fibres Hub was officially launched on October 25 2016 by Federal Member for Corangamite, Ms Sarah Henderson MP and Deakin University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander. We were delighted to have Australian Research Council CEO Leanne Harvey and representatives of four out of the Hub’s five industry partners present at the launch.
Hub Director, Professor Xungai Wang said the potential of fibre and textile materials was being recognised and realised worldwide and through significant government and private investments, Australia has led the way.
“Through the Future Fibres Hub, we are tackling major issues of national and global significance, and we are doing this in collaboration with our local and international research partners and highly innovative industry partners,” said Prof Wang.
The launch took place at Carbon Nexus where projects with two of the Hub’s industry partners, Quickstep Automotive and Carbon Revolution, are already underway. These involve developing carbon fibres with tailor-made properties for specific applications; and finer, stronger carbon fibres and composites.
In collaboration with HeiQ, Hub researchers are developing advanced polymer fibres to further enhance the comfort and functionality of textiles. The short polymer fibre technology developed by Deakin researchers will provide a platform technology for a range of advanced materials.
High value-added applications are another core theme and in this area the Hub is working with Draggin Jeans to develop next generation protective apparel for motorcycle riders and with the Ear Science Institute of Australia (ESIA) on silk based membranes for eardrum repair. The work with ESIA has already received international recognition and will be proceeding to clinical trials from next year.
Over the past few months, the Hub has recruited a number of researchers and engineers and PhD students to work on these many and varied projects.