ARC DECRA Fellowship for Thomas

Dr Thomas Dorin has received a prestigious Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) from the Australian Research Council.

The award will provide Thomas with $407,000 over the next three years to pursue research on new classes of aluminium-magnesium-silicon alloys via scandium additions.

With the transport sector accounting for 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, there is much interest in lightweighting vehicles as a strategy to reduce these emissions. The use of aluminium to reduce vehicle weight offers potential to also significantly reduce emissions. Scandium can improve the performance of aluminium. This project will attempt to explain the fundamental interactions between scandium and other alloying elements in 6xxx-series aluminium alloys.

German exchange award

Dr Matthias Weiss, Dr Buddhika Abeyrathna and Dr Thomas Dorin were successful in the recent Australia-Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme.

Their project on Laser heat assisted roll forming of new high strength Aluminium alloys for weight reduction in transport receives funding of $12,500 for Deakin University to enable visits to Germany with similar funding for their partner, the Technical University Darmstadt to enable researchers to visit Australia.

Sharing knowledge and flavours in Wuhan

IFM postdoctoral researchers, Dr Steven Babaniaris, Dr Nima Hagdadi and Dr Subhankar Biswas (Shuvo) recently returned from an international teaching trip to the Wuhan University of Science and Technology (WUST) in the Hubei province of China.

The IFM team enjoying Hubei style hot pot, courtesy of the students of WUST.

The trip was part of a long standing partnership between the two universities, where Deakin staff teach the engineering program collaboratively with the lecturers at WUST with the goal of providing an alternative and international perspective on their studies.

As well as teaching, Steven, Nima and Shuvo visited and presented their work at the International Research Institute for Steel Technology at WUST, the Hanzhong University of Science and Technology and the research and development department of the Baosteel group.

The IFM team also thoroughly enjoyed the local Wuhan cuisine under the guidance of their students, including hot pot, the sticky rice breakfast dish – Doupi, and the world renowned hot dry noodles. Steven’s attempts to return the favour by letting his students try the Australian breakfast staple Vegemite were less successful!

New publications

IFM researchers Dr Lu Jiang, Dr Ross Marceau, Dr Thomas Dorin, Prof Peter Hodgson and A/Prof Nikki Stanford of Uni SA have a cover paper on the Journal of Materials Science.

This work explores the effect of molybdenum alloying on the microstructural evolution of high-strength low-alloy strip-cast steel, which is a near-net-shape casting technology that produces thin strip material directly from the liquid metal, avoiding slab casting and hot rolling steps of conventional casting and thereby offering significant cost and energy savings. The work was part of Lu (Daniel’s) PhD research.

In the news

Dr Thomas Dorin featured in an article about the use of scandium in light-weight alloys on the create website recently.

The article, talks about the research with CleanTeq and Universal Alloy Corporation and the potential for small amounts of scandium to have a major impact on the properties of aluminium alloys. Read more

Scandium for use in buses of the future

IFM is leading a new project to lighten electric bus bodies, supported by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre.

Australian bus manufacturer and IFM industry partner Volgren is a partner in the new project, led by Dr Thomas Dorin, to investigate how scandium could help lighten electric bus bodies. The other partner is Clean Teq, which mines scandium in Australia.

The Bus Optimisation Project is said to provide, “an opportunity to incorporate the latest thinking in metallurgical engineering with future bus design and advanced manufacturing techniques.”

Peter Dale, CEO of Volgren, said as the global market for electric buses expands significantly, a lighter bus body will be a game changer, improving both range and capacity.

Mr Dale said the Bus Optimisation Project was initiated after Volgren approached Deakin with the challenge of removing up to a tonne of weight from their popular low-floor city bus, Optimus. This, they knew, would be a difficult task considering Volgren already boasts the lightest aluminium bus body of its type in Australia – and arguably the world.

“Deakin’s extensive capabilities in design, forming and metal alloy development have placed them at the forefront of metallurgical engineering.”.

“Their researchers have already had success incorporating scandium into the aeronautic sector and we believe that expertise can form the foundation of the next generation of Volgren aluminium bus designs,” said Peter Dale.

The partnership between Volgren and Deakin also includes a PhD scholarship, to ensure that the research remains grounded in industry application. Read more

AINSE postgraduate award

Congratulations to IFM student, Katrin Mester who has received an AINSE postgraduate research award.

The award provides  a stipend of $7500 per year and covers her trips to ANSTO. Katrin’s project is Understanding the co-precipitation mechanisms of Al3(Sc,Zr) with Li-containing phases in Al-Cu-Li model alloys supervised by Dr Thomas Dorin.

Summer school success

Research Fellow in the aluminium group, Dr Baptiste Rouxel, together with students Steven Babaniaris and Katrin Mester recently attended a summer school on aluminium alloy technology at Trondheim in Norway.

Steve Babinaris waiting for the sun to set (about 11.30 pm) with Trondheim in the background.

The theme of the five-day school was to provide a comprehensive overview of the state of the art in aluminium alloy technology. Lectures focused on basic metallurgy and mechanics controlling the evolution of microstructure and properties during industrial processing.

Steve Babaniaris describes the experience, “The whole course was really well structured with experts from both research and industry giving presentations. Many of the talks focused on the importance of collaboration between research centres and industry.

“The European aluminium producers and manufacturers all seem to have close working relationships with the universities and research centres, which means there is some really interesting fundamental work being done that also relates directly to a practical application in the industry.

“As I’ve been working on a project that looks at issues that occur during aluminium finishing due to microstructural imbalances that can occur during processing, the whole program proved extremely beneficial and I had some excellent discussions with many of the presenters and students there.”

Aluminium focus for Verona

Dr Thomas Dorin recently gave a presentation at the International Conference on Extrusion and Benchmark (Aluminium 2000) in Verona, Italy. Dr Dorin’s talk on ‘Impact of scandium and zirconium on extrudability, microstructure and hardness of a binary Al-Cu alloy’ presented results from his ARC Linkage project with CleanTeq. The research shows that hardness is almost doubled in the alloy containing both scandium and zirconium compared to the binary alloy. Read more.

The conference dinner was held in a palace near Verona.