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Carbon Nexus has taken its first steps towards establishing the new Deakin facility as a global player in the development of improved carbon fibre and composite materials.
On November 14th, Carbon Nexus's 20 ton pilot scale line produced its first carbon fibre from white fibre precursor provided by an industry partner.
The Carbon Nexus plant is being commissioned by technical teams from Despatch Industries and Furnace Engineering, and Deakin's Carbon Nexus General Manager, Steve Atkiss, was clearly pleased with today's results as the shiny black fibre rolled neatly on to multiple spools.
Carbon Nexus Research Director, Associate Professor Bronwyn Fox, Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing (VCAMM) CEO, Brad Dunstan and Professor Peter Hodgson, the Director of Deakin's Institute for Frontier Materials, were on hand to observe the moment.
Supported by the Victorian State Government under the Victorian Science Agenda (VSA) Strategic Fund and by the Australian Government through the Education Investment Fund, the $34m centre has been developed by Deakin University and VCAMM.
"Carbon Nexus will enhance Australia’s presence and capacity in the carbon fibre composite industry; it also stands as a landmark in how a university can connect with an industry, its supply chain and developing markets", said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Lee Astheimer.
As well as the 20 ton Carbon Fibre Pilot Line and a smaller research line, Carbon Nexus is home to over 30 research staff, with several research labs and office accommodation.
A tour of the facility was one of the highlights of a visit to Waurn Ponds by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce AC CVO.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said the visit was a great honour for the University and an opportunity to highlight the ground-breaking research and industry partnerships underway.
“On behalf of Deakin, we are delighted and greatly honoured to welcome the Governor-General to Carbon Nexus and to demonstrate our strong commitment to our region, most particularly research and industry partnerships to create the jobs of the future,” Professor den Hollander said.
“One of the great new opportunities for Geelong manufacturing is in carbon fibre - the aluminium of the 21st century."