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. 23.04.2018
    23.04.2018
    by      In
    Sidewood Estate has put the finishing touches on it $4 million winery expansion in the South Australian town of Nairne, which includes one of the most technologically advanced bottling lines in the Adelaide Hills region.
    The bottling line can fill and label up to 3000 bottles per hour with an... Read More
  2. 23.04.2018
    23.04.2018
    by      In
    BAE Systems has formalised a deal to source almost 50,000 tonnes of Australian steel to build Future Frigates for the SEA 5000 programme, should it win the tendering process. 
    Under the agreement, Bluescope Steel and Liberty OneSteel will provide steel components for BAE's Global Combat Ship-... Read More
  3. 23.04.2018
    23.04.2018
    by      In
    Melbourne-based packaging giant Visy is aiming to rapidly increase its investments in automation, with the end goal of having a fully automated factory. 
    “We have a vision which I call the ‘lights out’ factory - a fully automated box factory that operates in the dark because robots don’t need... Read More
  4. 23.04.2018
    23.04.2018
    by      In
    With international electric vehicles failing to make an impression on the Australian market, a local manufacturer has stepped up to the plate to provide some much-needed competition. 
    ACE Electric Vehicles is planning to produce Australian-manufacturered electric cars, with the goal of releasing... Read More