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Associate Professor Minoo Naebe, Dr Omid Zabihi and colleagues have published their circular economy related research in the journal Sustainability.

Their paper ‘A sustainable approach to the low-cost recycling of waste glass fibres composites towards Circular Economy’ presents a low-cost and efficient approach for the recycling of the glass fibre from glass fibre reinforced epoxy polymer waste, based on a microwave-assisted chemical oxidation method. The researchers found that in a one-step process using microwave irradiation, a mixture of hydrogen peroxide as a green oxidiser and tartaric acid as a natural organic acid could be used to decompose the epoxy matrix of a waste glass fibre reinforced epoxy polymer up to 90% yield. This short microwave irradiation time using these green and sustainable recycling solvents makes this a significantly low energy consumption approach for the recycling of end-of-life glass fibre reinforced epoxy polymers. For more information contact: [email protected]

In a collaborative circular economy project with Flinders University led by A/Prof Justin Chalker, IFM researchers Prof Luke Henderson, Dr Filip Stojcevski and Melissa Stanfield have helped create insulating composites using waste canola oil and sulphur from industrial waste. Using a process known as inverse vulcanisation, they created a new polymer which was then mixed with wool to impart tensile strength, insulating properties and reduced the flammability of the composite. All the building blocks are sustainable or derived from waste and the composite is a promising lead on next-generation insulation for energy conservation. Read more

Carbon Nexus researchers Vishnu Unnikrishan, A/Prof Minoo Naebe, Dr Omid Zabihi, Dr Mojtaba Ahmadi and Dr Quanxiang Li together with their collaborators at Ford Motor Company, USA have a review of metal-organic frameworks in the journal Materials Chemistry A.

The paper was also featured on the front cover. The work is part of Vishnu’s PhD which is funded by the ARC Training Centre in Lightweight Automotive Structures (ATLAS)

The review presents approaches for the synthesis, functionalisation, and post-synthesis modification of metal organic frameworks and discusses their potential as a versatile porous material for the development of novel hybrid fillers using graphene and boron nitrides. It highlights the remarkable advances in the field of high-performance multifunctional composites. Read more

Dr Sulley Li, A/Prof Minoo Naebe, Dr Weiwei Lei and team have a cover paper in Advanced ScienceThe paper, titled ‘Porous Fibers: Controlled Design of a Robust Hierarchically Porous and Hollow Carbon Fiber Textile for High‐Performance Freestanding Electrodes’, proposes an innovative dynamic template calcination strategy to construct a hierarchical macro–meso–microporous and hollow carbon fibre textile system without diminishing mechanical robustness. Such unique characteristics offer high surface area and minimized diffusive resistance to mass transport, resulting in a flexible and efficient freestanding electrode.

A/Prof Luke Henderson and team – Daniel Eyckens, Chantelle Arnold, James Randall,Filip Stojcevski, Andreas Hendlmeier and Melissa Stanfield, with collaborators from Deakin SEBE, CNRS and CSIRO have a new paper in ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces on coloured and colour changing carbon fibre.

Their results show carbon fibres incorporating structural color, similar to that observed on the surface of soap bubbles and various insects and birds. When dry, the treated fibres exhibit a striking blue color, but when exposed to a volatile solvent, a cascade of colors across the visible light region is observed. The treated fibres can also be reversibly formed into complex shapes and bear significant loads even without being encased in a supporting polymer. The tensile strength of treated fibres shows a statistically significant increase (+12%), and evaluation of the fibre-to-matrix adhesion of these polymers to an epoxy resin shows more than 300% improvement over control fibres. This approach creates a new platform for the multifaceted advance of smart composites. Fiber with Butterfly Wings: Creating Colored Carbon Fibers with Increased Strength, Adhesion, and Reversible Malleability

Associate Professor Minoo Naebe and colleagues have published an invited review paper in the prestigious journal Progress in Materials Science, titled “PAN Precursor Fabrication, Applications and Thermal Stabilization Process in Carbon Fiber Production: Experimental and Mathematical Modelling”.

This paper is the first comprehensive review that provides a general understanding of the links between PAN fibre structure, properties, and its stabilization process along with the use of mathematical modelling as a powerful tool in prediction and optimisation of the processes involved. Read more

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