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27 January 2022 Partner Release

The Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), together with leading Australian steel manufacturer, InfraBuild, and Australia's national science agency CSIRO, have embarked on a collaborative research project to develop more corrosion resistant steel products.

The project, made possible with $100,000 funding through IMCRC's activate program, will modernise InfraBuild's finishing process by introducing CSIRO's solid state, low-cost additive Cold Spray ZAP™ technology.

CSIRO's cold spray technology works by applying a high-strength, recycled corrosion-resistant coating to steel that produces more damage and corrosion resistant products, particularly in soil. By employing the use of robotic coating application technology, InfraBuild and CSIRO will develop a fully automated digital manufacturing production line, improving productivity and increasing cost competitiveness.

Bradley Taylor, Director of Technical at InfraBuild Wire, said the IMCRC activate project is enabling InfraBuild to explore the technology as an alternative coating option, advance its manufacturing process and create new innovative steel products for a number of sectors.

"As part of IMCRC's activate project, we aim to develop high-value, cost-effective steel products that will deliver benefits to many sectors, from our primary producers and rural sectors to nation-building infrastructure.

"By integrating CSIRO's Cold Spray ZAP™ technology in our manufacturing process, we will be able to manufacture longer-lasting, damage resistant, coated steel products that have the ability to withstand aggressive environments. Saving our customers money over the full life of each product," he said.

CSIRO Research Director, Advanced Materials and Processing, Dr Kathie McGregor, recognised the important role that initiatives like IMCRC activate play in developing local industry capability and creating globally relevant commercial products.

"CSIRO aims to accelerate sustainable manufacturing that is globally competitive, which we can achieve through collaboration with Australian industry. This project will help us develop our Cold Spray ZAP™ technology into a leading-edge, commercially viable and scalable solution to manufacture corrosion-resistant steel products in Australia," she said.

Dr Matthew Young, IMCRC’s Manufacturing Innovation Manager, said IMCRC was delighted to be co-funding the development of an Australian manufactured innovative steel fencing that would address the national challenge of in soil steel corrosion.

"This research collaboration is enabling InfraBuild and CSIRO to solve a nationwide challenge, improving the sustainability of fencing in Australia under some of the toughest environmental conditions on earth. It's an example of what can be achieved through investment in shorter-term collaborations between Australian manufacturing and research organisations that activate program has been specifically designed to address," he said.

"The innovative coatings developed as part of this project, if successful, will significantly increase the life of selected InfraBuild steel products, cutting costs associated with production, installation and corrosion.

"IMCRC is pleased to be contributing to the development of a scalable steel product that has wide ranging applications and the potential to benefit many sectors in Australia and beyond," Dr Young said.

About IMCRC

IMCRC is an independent and for-impact cooperative research centre with a successful, proven and scalable model for catalysing research and business partnerships that drives transformative commercial outcomes for participating Australian manufacturers. To date, IMCRC has successfully co-invested in more than 60 R&D projects, catalysing more than $200 million in transformative manufacturing research.

The IMCRC activate program was introduced in 2020 to support shorter-term, industry-led research projects that help Australian manufacturers take action and gain a competitive edge in the post-COVID-19 world.

About InfraBuild

With more than 100 years continuous operations, InfraBuild is Australia's leading integrated steel manufacturing, distribution and recycling business, providing solutions for commercial and residential construction, large scale and nation-building infrastructure, and primary producers and rural sectors.
About CSIRO

CSIRO is Australia's national science agency and innovation catalyst. We solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. Our collaborative research turns science into solutions for food security and quality; clean energy and resources; health and wellbeing; resilient and valuable environments; innovative industries; and a secure Australia and region.

For more information, please contact:

Jana Kuthe, Communications, Marketing and Events Manager, IMCRC
+61 416 735 666
jana.kuthe@imcrc.org

Rod Mapstone, External Communications & Media
+61 438 294 377
rod.mapstone@infrabuild.com

Ali Green, Communications Advisor, CSIRO
+61 406 146 523
Ali.Green@CSIRO.au

This release was originally published on the IMCRC website: IMCRC activate project to develop corrosion resistant steel fencing - IMCRC

Images

Image showing InfraBuild fencing wire being manufactured
Image of Infrabuild wire on large spools in a warehouse

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