RMIT University researchers will lead two major projects in the newly-opened ARC Research Hub for Australian Steel Manufacturing.
Based at the University of Wollongong, the hub will focus on developing breakthrough process and product innovations to solve complex challenges confronting the Australian steel industry.
Researchers from the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering will lead two of the hub's projects.
Professor Ma Qian is chief investigator and project manager of Project C1-1: Intermetallic formation and development in metal coating bath, which has received $524,721 funding over five years and will be further supported by significant in-kind investment from BlueScope.
The second theoretical modelling project aims to optimise the molecular design of coatings for resistance to biological contamination (bio-fouling), one of the top priorities for product innovation in coating technologies.
Leader of this team, Professor Irene Yarovsky, said RMIT had been working on the theoretical modelling of novel coatings in partnership with BlueScope Steel for several years.
"We are aiming to design an environmentally adaptable self-cleaning polymer coating that incorporates aspects of the nanoscale surface properties of Lotus and Lady's Mantle plant leaves," she said.
"These plants have a self-cleaning ability that we hope to use in designing steel coatings that are resistant to biological contamination or bio-fouling."
ARC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Aidan Byrne, said the Research Hub would focus on developing breakthrough process and product innovations to solve complex challenges confronting the Australian steel industry.
The hub has been awarded $5 million over five years from the Federal Government through the ARC's Industrial Transformation Research Program.
Professor Byrne said the ARC Research Hub for Australian Steel Manufacturing wouldill build on years of collaborative research between the Australiannation's steel industry and the university sector.
"The hub will combine the expertise of key industry partner BlueScope Steel and others including Arrium, the Australian Steel Institute, Bisalloy, Cox Architects and Lysaght," he said.
"The collaboration will also strengthen and extend research partnerships with The University of Queensland, The University of New South Wales, The University of Newcastle, Swinburne University of Technology and RMIT.
"This unique grouping of partners represents a focused cross-section of the Australian steel industry, from raw materials right through to the end product users, and is strengthened by the expertise of high-quality and excellent researchers in the field."