Fibres, polymers, composites and textiles

Deakin's research into fibres, polymers, composites and textiles at the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) is forging a new path into innovative and exciting technology with a range of applications.
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The future of fibres

Research into fibres, polymers, composites and textiles is carried out as part of the Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre (AFFRIC), which is a $103 million initiative supported by the Victorian and Australian governments. 

AFFRIC is a collaboration between Deakin University, CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering and the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing (VCAMM).

Our facilities include Carbon Nexus – a $34 million, pilot-scale carbon fibre research facility for industry.

IFM is leading a new Future Fibres Industrial Transformation Research Hub with total funding of $8.7 million. 

The hub, which includes several industry partners, will accelerate the transformation of Australia's manufacturing industry to a vibrant future fibre-oriented sector.

There are so many possibilities for short fibres. Now that we have the non-woven fibre and the yarn, the next stage will be working with innovators in industry to bring new applications to the public.


ARC Future Fellow and Personal Chair

Professor Xungai Wang - Natural Fibres

Professor Xungai Wang discusses how the Institute for Frontier Materials is contributing to a variety of industries through their research into natural fibres.

Professor Russell Varley - Carbon Fibres

Professor Russell Varley discusses how the Institute for Frontier Materials and Carbon Nexus are contributing to carbon fibre research and industry.

Our research

Carbon fibre and composites

  • Development of new rapid-cure processes for automotive components
  • Reducing the cost of carbon fibre precursors
  • Improving the performance of carbon fibre

Functional fibrous materials

  • Research into novel coating technologies leading to development of durable, functional fibres and fabrics

Short fibres

  • Novel, unique functions and applications of nanofibres, e.g. advanced aif filters and face masks, biomedical applications, sound-absorbing and noise-shielding products
  • New short fibre production and assembly technologies
  • Advanced electrospinning technologies


  • Synthesis, processing and characterisation of new polymeric materials
  • Advanced thermosets for high-performance coating, adhesives and composites
  • Polymer blends, composites and nanocomposites
  • Biodegradable polymers for biomedical applications
  • Green processing of natural polymers
  • Rubber and plastics recycling

Green natural fibres

  • Water and energy saving technologies for processing natural fibres (e.g. wool, cotton, hemp)
  • Biomedical applications of natural fibre structures (e.g. silk powder and silk nanofibres)
  • Bio-mimicking of natural fibre structures (e.g. wild silk cocoon) to develop functional materials and lightweight structures

ARC Future Fibres Hub

The Future Fibres Hub is an Australian Research Council (ARC) supported initiative helping to transform Australian fibres and textiles manufacturing. Researchers in the hub are developing novel fibre technologies to facilitate more sustainable, advanced manufacturing of fibre materials.

The research falls under three main themes: nanofibres; carbon fibre composites; and high value-added applications. Expected outcomes include reducing our environmental footprint and improving public health and wellbeing.

Learn more about the ARC Future Fibres Hub

Recent research

No mess, no fuss

Deakin research fellows Dr Hongxia Wang and Dr Yan Zhao are working on the development of durable, superamphiphobic, self-cleaning surfaces. This innovative project will investigate ways of creating durable, self-cleaning surfaces through the use of a marine mussel-inspired underwater adhesive agent. 

These surfaces have wide applications in daily life, the health sector, environment and industry.

Featured researcher

Professor Xungai Wang joined Deakin 16 years ago, and was the first fibres researcher at the University. Now, Deakin's IFM is world class – and one of the biggest research institutes in Australia. He has covered the spectrum of fibres research, from enhancing silk, cotton and wool for the textiles industry, to developing novel materials for biomedical use, whether this be stent design or assisting tissue regeneration.

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