Carbon Revolution

Industrialisation of composite wheel technology

Research partner
Deakin

Total Project Value (AUD)
$15,886,500

IMCRC Funding (AUD)
$2,998,628

Start date
01/07/2018

Duration
3.5 years

In 2018, carbon fibre automotive wheels pioneer Carbon Revolution and Deakin University formed a $15 million research and development (R&D) partnership facilitated and part-funded by the IMCRC.

The three-and-a-half year project saw multiple streams of materials and process improvement R&D brought under the one umbrella agreement with access to Deakin’s core materials science and engineering capabilities.

According to Dr Ashley Denmead, Carbon Revolution’s Engineering & Design Director and Founder, the IMCRC project was notable for its seamless integration into Carbon Revolution’s operations as much as the innovations it delivered.

“All of the Deakin researchers employed by the project were based onsite and fully integrated into our teams,” he said.

“As our R&D program was very much focused on achieving commercial outcomes, the full immersion of researchers within our engineering, development and process engineering teams worked extremely well.”

“Maintaining a capability edge is fundamental to our business and we were able to achieve far more than we expected over the life of the project,” said Denmead.

Denmead said he believed IMCRC’s facilitation of the project struck the right balance of oversight and reporting requirements while ensuring the multiple innovation streams remained on track.

“IMCRC’s deep understanding of the realities and pressures we face as an export-led manufacturer ensured we were able to form a strong partnership from the beginning,” he said.

“Their ability to facilitate the project efficiently and effectively without getting too involved allowed us to remain focused on the research outcomes and was a contributing factor to the project’s success.”

For Denmead, the project has had an immediate impact on his business, with significant commercial benefits likely to be felt for some time as a result.

“This is the longest and largest research project we have undertaken and by far our most successful one,” he said.

“We have been so impressed with the collaborative approach and what we were able to achieve from an innovation standpoint we employed many of the project researchers directly into the business at the conclusion of the project.”

“IMCRC’s ability to leverage value and drive research collaboration to achieve commercial outcomes is extremely powerful and we need more of it, and at scale, if Australia’s manufacturing sector is to thrive in the future,” said Denmead.

Industrialisation of Composite Wheel Technology

Advancing manufacturing technologies and capacity to increase the scale and output of Carbon Revolution’s commercial operations

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To maintain our competitive advantage we are locked into a perpetual high-performance development journey, and our IMCRC project with Deakin University has been instrumental in accelerating our progress on that continuum.

Dr Ashley Denmead
Engineering & Design Director and Founder of carbon revolution