Development of graphene-based materials holds promise for smart applications
A team of researchers from Swinburne are making a vital contribution to a DMTC-managed collaboration involving a national network of research and industry partners.
The DMTC project is focused on developing a detailed understanding of the functional performance of composite materials. The specific theme of work for the Swinburne researchers, led by Dr Nishar Hameed, is novel, hybrid graphene-based multi-scale composites that can deliver advances in sensing, electromagnetic and thermal signature control for applications in the defence domain.
The excellent performance of these materials is mainly attributed to the 2D structure of incorporated graphene nanomaterials which provide technological possibilities which are not possible with conventional material systems alone.
The outcome of the initial stage of the project based on the literature and market survey has recently been recognised with the publication in the prominent international journal Advanced Science.
After optimising the thermoelectrical properties of the polymer matrix through the proper selection of graphene type and processing, the team is now in the process of incorporating graphene into composites and assessing their structural and functional characteristics.
In conjunction with the expertise contributed by Swinburne, RMIT, Deakin University and University of Queensland researchers, industry partners Thales Australia, Penguin Composites and Imagine Intelligent Materials (IIM) are providing the industrial context for the DMTC project, that will maximise the industrial relevance of the outcomes achieved.
A major challenge still ahead of the project team is to take the newly developed processes beyond lab environments to an industrial manufacturing scale.