Pultrusion is being perfected thanks to a $10.3 million manufacturing and construction development project in Toowoomba.
Wagners Composite Fibre Technologies (CFT) have teamed up with the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and Allnex for the three-year project.
Together they are creating advanced building material structures expected to capture new high-value markets in the oil and gas and transport industries.
USQ Polymer Composites researcher Dr Xuesen Zeng said pultrusion created continuous lengths of composite material, ‘pulling’ fibre-reinforced profiles through a cross-section of die, resin and heating and cooling zones.
“We’re increasing the productivity of the process, incorporating additives such as fire retardants, integrating braiding process with pultrusion, optimising injectable tools, and more,” he said.
Wagners CFT is a pioneer in the use of composite materials in civil engineering, with projects using pultruded material in the UK, USA, and New Zealand.
Investment by USQ in a production-ready Pultrex pultrusion line has allowed USQ to operate as the research arm of Wagners CFT, freeing up precious production time, leading to the development of new products in new markets with improved mechanical and fire performance.
The joint development project has attracted $3 million funding from Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program.