Reducing the weight of vehicles for increased fuel efficiency is a high priority and has intensified the focus on lightweight metals.
The metals group, led by Professor Matthew Barnett, combines world leading research in the development of new, high-performance materials, such as ultra high-strength steels, advanced magnesium alloys for fast extrusion and metal laminates.
Our steel research focuses on developing greener processes and products for a more sustainable and socially responsible steel industry.
IFM's sheet metal forming research targets the automotive, aerospace and construction industries. Led by Dr Matthias Weiss and Dr Michael Pereira, the group's research focuses on developing advanced material models and innovative manufacturing technologies for the forming of current and future sheet materials.
This group uses research in advanced material and process development, material characterisation and modelling to establish advanced and low-cost lightweight structure solutions for the automotive sector. The major focus is on simplicity in design and manufacturing. This is achieved through the development of techniques that aid in the application of modular body structures to increase flexibility and reduce production costs.
Aircraft recycling takes flight
In a breakthrough at Deakin, researchers have developed the technology that should open the way to recycling the bulk of the 200,000 aircraft currently traversing the airways. This would see around six million tonnes and billions of dollars’ worth of high performance aluminium alloys retained within the airline industry.
Deakin metallurgist Dr Thomas Dorin and his co-workers have developed the ground-breaking process at IFM. They've discovered that the recycling process actually results in an enhancement of the alloys' performance.
IFM director, Professor Matthew Barnett received Deakin’s highest honour – the title of Alfred Deakin Professor – in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the field of metallurgy research. Professor Barnett is internationally recognised as a leading researcher in the field of deformation behaviour of steels and light metals. In the past 10 years he has secured research funding of more than $12 million from various sources, including more than $7 million from the Australian Research Council.