none

USING SCIENCE TO MAKE MANUFACTURING BETTER

27-10-2016
by 
in 

At the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute, scientists have combined micron thin layers of plastics to develop a material that can replace glass in cars, aircraft, spacecraft, and even whitegoods - making them lighter and more efficient.

Dr Colin Hall and his colleagues at the Future Industries institute have recieved public recognition, and been awarded the Australian Prime Minister’s Prize for New Innovators, as a result of their innovations. 

Dr Hall used his experience in the spectacle industry to solve a problem that was holding back the University of South Australia team’s development of the new plastics technology.

It was his expertise that led to the team's success,  developing the unique combination of five layers of materials that bind to plastics to create a mirror that performs as well as glass and metal, at a fraction of the weight.

The team’s first commercial success is a car wing-mirror, which despite being made from plastic, performs equally as well as more standard glass installations while being lighter and safer.

The Ford Motor Company has already purchased more than 1.6 million mirror assemblies for use on their F-Series trucks.

The mirrors are made in Adelaide, South Australia, by SMR Automotive and have earned $160 million in exports to date.

The New Innovators award recognises the contribution Dr Hall has made to bringing science and industry together to find practical solutions to problems that have a market value.

“Universities can transition something that has been dreamed up in the lab right through to scale up to production,” Dr Hall said.

“It shows that universities can work with industry hand in hand for commercial success.”

 

Related news & editorials

  1. 20.08.2018
    20.08.2018
    by      In
    Luxaflex Window Fashions is one of the latest manufacturers to take action against rising energy costs, revealing a 2080-strong solar panel installation on the roof of its Sydney manufacturing facility.
    Reckoned to be the world’s largest installation of Sunpower P19 panels, the solar array will... Read More
  2. 20.08.2018
    20.08.2018
    by      In
    The government’s support for the defence industry looks to be bearing fruit, with Defence Export Controls revealing a 25% increase in the number of defence and dual-use export permit applications received in the last quarter of 2017–18 compared with the same period in 2016-2017.
    Minister for... Read More
  3. 16.08.2018
    16.08.2018
    by      In
    Following extensive growth of the business, Beacon Solar (a division of Beacon Lighting Group) has changed its business (trading) name to Beacon Energy Solutions.
    Beacon Solar has been in the energy efficiency/solar market for more than 10 years, with the business initially offering residential... Read More
  4. 15.08.2018
    15.08.2018
    by      In
    BHP’s new $4.8 billion South Flank iron ore mine in the Pilbara is expected to create about 2500 jobs during construction and 600 ongoing roles. But local fabricators are quire rightly up in arms about the company’s decision to award the contract for 20,000 tonnes of structural steel work to... Read More