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. 08.07.2020
    08.07.2020
    by      In
    Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed that metropolitan Melbourne will return to Stage 3 lockdown restrictions in response to the state’s growing number of COVID-19 cases.
    The six-week lockdown period begins at midnight on Wednesday.
    “Pretending that this is over because we all want it to... Read More
  2. 08.07.2020
    08.07.2020
    by      In
    The COVID-19 pandemic may be laying waste to economies the world over, but Adept Conveyor Technologies appears to be immune.
    “We’re having our biggest year ever, actually,” says Adept’s director Paul Johnson.
    “We’ve had more enquiries than ever.”
    One of those was from a large E-Commerce supplier... Read More
  3. 08.07.2020
    08.07.2020
    by      In , In
    “If you don’t buy right, you can’t sell right.”
    For 90 years, this mantra has dictated the business approach of Hare & Forbes, Australia’s leading supplier of engineering, metal and woodworking machinery. The family business was determined to “get it right the first time”, and as they celebrate... Read More
  4. 08.07.2020
    08.07.2020
    by      In , In
    As we were about to go to press, a winterised Australia began experiencing a ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 cases in the state of Victoria, mainly from community infection clusters in specific suburbs near the city.
    Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland are also... Read More