Australia-China Joint Research Centre for Light Metals

Light metal alloys are used for materials that require both good performance properties and lighter materials. Common uses include aerospace, marine, chemical processes, and medical applications.

The Centre will bring together researchers from industry and academia in the field of light alloy development and processing, to develop new light metal alloys and energy-efficient manufacturing processes.

The activities in the Centre will be driven by industry needs and will be a balance of fundamental and applied research. The overarching goal is the development of revolutionary, new light alloys and manufacturing processes. These may reduce CO2 emissions and lower energy usage in the transportation sector (primarily aerospace) through weight savings and lifetime extension of component parts.

The activities will be achieved through close interactions between the academic and industry partners. The research will include incremental improvements to current processes and materials as well as the expansion of the currently small but high-value-add additive manufacturing capabilities in Australia and China.

Additionally, activities will include:

  • staff and student exchange visits
  • conferences, symposia, workshops, forums
  • development of research outputs, including joint publications, patents and new products
  • pilot projects to demonstrate the feasibility of new ideas and applications
  • development of research-related web based information sharing tools.

Economic, environmental and social benefits

  • Australia is established as a global destination for aerospace research and manufacturing
  • an Australian aerospace manufacturing industry, based on the supply of high-value-add components rather than the construction of full airframes
  • an Australian supply chain for these components, once companies have become established and have a strong customer base
  • strengthened collaboration between Chinese customers and developing Australian companies, which will help to broaden the expertise of young engineers in these companies.
  • fuel savings and emission reductions
  • extending mineral reserves through minimising material waste during processing
  • PhD enrolments in aerospace materials and manufacturing, including access to industry experience
  • industry engineers trained in the new additive processes, to enable more rapid adoption of these technologies in existing companies.

Partners

Lead Australian partner: Monash University

Lead Chinese Partner: Central South University

Other partners:

  • The University of Queensland
  • Deakin University
  • The University of New South Wales
  • The University of Sydney
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Magnotec Pty Ltd
  • Rosebank Engineering Pty Ltd
  • Grandfield Technology Ltd
  • ODT Engineering Pty Ltd
  • Beijing University of Technology
  • Southeast University
  • Aluminium Corporation of China
  • Baosteel
  • Yingban Clad Material Ltd
  • Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China
  • European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company Asia-Pacific
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