Research focus

Our Fibre Science Research Program investigates the structure, properties and behaviours of fibres and fibrous materials for new industrial materials.

Fibre Science research aims to:

  • create innovative fibre and textile product solutions across a broad spectrum of Australia's needs
  • stimulate international demand for Australia’s natural fibres, such as our cotton products
  • create new commercial products based on advanced fibrous structures and materials.

Future directions

In May 2010, the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced funding of $37m to support the establishment of a new collaborative research facility - the Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre (AFFRIC).

AFFRIC will be located at Deakin University's Waurn Ponds campus and will involve a co-location of CSIRO Belmont fibre and research staff to the new site in 2012.

The joint research will focus on the development of a range of innovative and functional materials including:

  • nanofibers
  • smart fibrous materials
  • green natural fibres
  • carbon fibre.

CSIRO is focusing current fibre research into these fields in anticipation of this collaborative move, while Deakin University is constructing a new carbon fibre research pilot plant in partnership with the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing (VCAMM) to further this effort.

Our fibre skills are multidisciplinary and supported by a globally recognised multi-fibre facilities in Geelong and Clayton, Victoria, Australian.

Applications of this collaborative research effort will focus on the aerospace, alternative energy, automotive and textile industries.

Our capabilities

Fibre Science and Engineering research focuses on fibre and fibrous structures.

Our skills are multi-disciplinary and supported by globally recognised multi-fibre facilities in Geelong and Clayton, Victoria, Australia. Our capabilities are widely applicable and are already being exploited across a broad range of scientific domains.

Our capabilities include:

  • fibre formation: for example, carbon nanotubes, regenerated protein fibres, electrospinning, melt extrusion
  • fibre manipulation: we manipulate fibres to form structures with specific architectures and properties
  • fibre measurement and process modelling: includes capability in metrology and instrument design, and the modelling of fibrous structures and fibre processing
  • biomedical: using our knowledge of nanofibres and bio-compatible polymers to build fibrous scaffolds for the purpose of growing cell cultures to regenerate human tissues
  • nanomaterials: expertise in the production and manipulation of nanoscale fibres including the synthesis of carbon nanotubes, electrospinning and processing of polymer nanofibres and the extrusion of nanocomposite fibres
  • surface, fibre and protein chemistry: combining advanced biopolymer chemistry with expertise in fibre surface science and applying this knowledge to the textile, food futures and health domains
  • instrumentation: physicists and engineers with skills in the design of sensors, instruments and fibre manipulation machinery and commercial prototyping.
  • flexible electronics: skills in embedding electronics into flexible structures with wireless interfacing to remote computers
  • testing: we provide a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited facility for environmental and textile testing.
  • consultancy: We act as consultants in environmental sustainability for the textile industry
  • materials characterisation: with specialist instrumentation including state-of-the-art scanning electron microscopy, we help improve material properties and product performance across a range of product types and operating conditions.

Download our information sheet on the Fibre Science Research Program.

Current research

CSIRO online dark speck contamination detector

The CSIRO online dark speck contamination detector provides accurate quality assurance in the production of nonwoven textiles and improves manufacturing efficiency.  

Textiles as templates for tissue growth

CSIRO scientists are using textile support structures as templates for the growth of new tissues for use in maintaining, restoring or improving the function of damaged tissues and organs.

SiroLock™: carding solution for fibre control

SiroLock™ doffer and worker wire is a significant breakthrough in fibre processing efficiency and is generating large sales in the global market.

Murata vortex spinning delivers cost savings to industry

CSIRO adapts Murata Vortex Spinning, developed for cotton to produce wool and cotton blend yarns that are lighter, softer, easy care and do not pill.

QuickDry Merino: a new quick drying wool fabric

CSIRO has produced a high performance ‘quick-dry’ finish for wool, to allow it to compete with the quick dry performance of synthetics and cotton in active sportwear markets

Sportwool™: a sporting new market for wool

CSIRO's Sportwool™ is a quantum leap forward in clothing technology that redefines the standards for comfort and performance in active sportswear.

Automated Impact Sensing System: revolutionising combat sports

CSIRO has been working with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) to produce a fully objective system to detect impact in combat sports.

Guide to the control of clothes moths and carpet beetles

Major textile pests are described and illustrated in this information sheet on identifying, controlling and eradicating the moths and beetles that attack wool, mohair and fur clothes, carpets and upholstery. (4 pages)

OPTI: keeping the presses rolling

CSIRO has developed the world's first objective dampening measurement system. OPTI is a laser sensor for measuring the thickness of dampening solution on offset printing plates at high speed and is suitable for many types of commercial and newspaper printing.

Researching silk genes

Scientists are researching the structure and function of insect derived silks to help determine their effectiveness in developing new biomaterials.

Rotating kayak seats

CSIRO is working with the Australian Institute of Sport to apply its expertise in sensing and engineering to redesign and optimise the rotating seats used by Australia’s elite flatwater kayak paddlers.

Rubber from resilin research paper

A team of CSIRO scientists have copied resilin, the elastic protein that facilitates flight and jumping in insects. As reported in Nature (13 October 2005), the team was the first to clone a portion of the resilin gene from fruitfly and turn it into the most resilient rubber known.

SiroFAST™ fabric quality assurance system

SiroFAST™ system tests fabrics for compression, bending, extension and dimensional stability.

Sirolan Laserscan™: providing better measurements

Sirolan Laserscan™ instrument measures individual fibre snippets by laser and produces accurate measurements of fibre diameter

Automated scoring for boxing technology

Enhancing the sport of boxing with electronic textiles.

Electrospinning creates ultra-fine fibres for many applications

Experimental textiles produced by electrospinning are being assessed for medical, industrial and environmental applications.