Over the course of 2021, as part of a broader analysis of the Australian composites sector, we’ve mapped Australian companies, enterprises and institutions across their specific capabilities with carbon fibre composites.
Our research identified the enterprises that have an interest in carbon fibre across six states and the ACT. This includes companies that “make things”, companies that supply raw materials, and sometimes machinery, into the carbon fibre manufacturing economy as well as agencies that supply engineering, industrial design, research, development and innovation services.
It is evident that State and Federal investment in carbon fibre R&D through Universities, and carbon fibre capability development by way of grants directly to companies has largely been successful in priming the development of this state-of-the-art industrial sector.
The report identified that Australian fabricators/manufacturers are largely reliant on imported raw material mainly from the United States, Japan, Europe, and China.
The report also identified perceived opportunities to grow the carbon fibre composite sector which includes applications in new mining ventures, hydrogen energy and exotic materials linked to the growing aerospace industry.
The analysis of enrolment and completion numbers for composite trade qualifications shows an unsettling decline in numbers since 2008 which is an ominous indication that the skills shortage is likely to continue for the foreseeable future thereby hindering growth opportunities.
In 2014, with funding from the Victorian Government, Composites Australia has formed a collaborative network to facilitate strategic partnerships to improve the commercialisation and adoption of advanced materials, particularly carbon fibre technology, by Victorian manufacturers.
The network comprises organisations with specific interest in carbon fibre:
This project reached a conclusion in 2016.
Click the image to download the Carbon Fibre Network brochure
The Carbon Fibre Collaborative Network aimed to:
The project also leveraged off existing RDI, intellectual property and talent that had been developed in industry and RDI agencies, particularly through the legacy of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Advanced Composite Structures which generated new competitive technology since 1991.