Stronger steel and greener cars possible with new research funding

Stronger steel and cleaner, safer cars could soon be manufactured in Australia thanks to research made possible with funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC).

(Pictured alongside is Kiyonori Suzuki of Monash University whose research could lead to a significant reduction of heat loss in petrol-electric hybrid cars. Suzuki has been given Federal Government funding of $224,602.)

Announcing $310 million in funding for over 1,000 national research projects, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said Australia’s manufacturing industries are facing difficult times but, together with our researchers, they will become more innovative so they can have a strong and prosperous future.

“I am pleased many projects being funded in this round of Australian Research Council major grants will support Australian manufacturing to help created new products and cleaner technologies,” Senator Carr said.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide — working together with Fosters Group, Orlando Wyndham Group and the Yalumba Wine Company — will use a $405,000 grant to develop wine barrel sensors with optical fibres to reduce wastage and improve quality in wine making.

Researchers at Deakin University will use a $270,000 grant to develop light-weight automotive components through an innovative flexible roll forming technique, which will assist the fuel economy and crashworthiness of vehicles.

Researchers at Monash University will use a $380,000 grant to use carbon fibre reinforced polymer for stronger, more durable steel structures for industrial applications.

The research projects were announced as part of the Australian Research Council’s 2012 Major Grants Announcement, with $310 million announced for over 1,000 research projects nationwide.

Funding will begin in 2012 and be administered over a period of up to five years under the Discovery Indigenous Researchers Development, Discovery Projects, Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities Projects and Linkage Projects schemes.