3 projects addressing manufacturing challenges receive $3 million each

Photo: Silex Systems

Three research projects have received $3 million each in federal government grants to address industry challenges. The projects include manufacturing lightweight rocket fuel tanks, using laser technology to develop silicon products for quantum computing and developing a solar polymer membrane.

Gilmour Space Technologies will collaborate with the University of Southern Queensland and Teakle Composites, to develop composite rocket fuel tanks for low cost space transport.

The project has received $3 million in grant funding to demonstrate the critical technologies in manufacturing linerless, filament wound composite tanks for liquid oxygen. The consortium will manufacture cryogenic linerless composite fuel tanks up to two meters in diameter and trial them in rocket flights.

According to the consortium, the project outcomes will achieve up to 30 per cent weight savings and 25 per cent cost savings for Gilmour commercial rocket launch services.

Silex Systems and Silicon Quantum Computing, in collaboration with the University of NSW will receive $3 million to develop a novel process using laser technology to create isotopically enriched silicon products

Currently, a major limitation to the development of silicon Quantum Computing is ensuring supply of essential materials, such as isotopically enriched silicon, where current world commercial supply is constrained, costly and volatile.

The Zero-Spin Silicon project intends to establish Australia as a world-leader in isotopic silicon production, creating jobs in advanced manufacturing with a new value-added export market for Australia.

Finally, a further $3 million will go towards developing Solar Skin, a perovskite solar polymer membrane that can generate power from both direct and indirect sunlight from vertical and horizontal surfaces. Solar Skin is considered affordable, efficient, non-flammable, and easy to manufacture in Australia using Australian minerals.

Solar Skin can potentially be affixed to almost any external surface, turning every CBD and local government area into sustainable and green power stations. According to ANU and UNSW researchers, an area the size of the ACT in regional Australia could supply the entire planet’s electricity needs.

The consortium funded to complete the project includes Flame Security International, QIC Limited, Buildcorp Group, Avery Dennison RBIS, Charter Hall, and Goodman Property Services alongside the University of NSW, University of Sydney and Macquarie University.

The projects will be funded through the via the CRC program.