MineAlloy Training Centre to Boost Australian Mining
After only 12 months of operation, The ARC mineAlloy Training Centre, led by Deakin University, has already achieved several successes across its three research themes. Working closely with their industry partners, mineAlloy researchers have started 11 collaborative research projects.
Director of mineAlloy, Professor Matthew Barnett, of Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials said the centre’s role was to ensure that alloy excellence is on the list of value propositions offered by Australian manufacturers.
“As some examples of the collaborative research we are undertaking, we are working with businesses in Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Sydney and Brisbane to develop the next generation of mining steels, improved ceramic wear and improved hard facing processes,” he said.
“Our business goal is to develop superior alloys that last longer than imported competition. The challenges are significant, but this is just what is needed to drive transformative breakthroughs. The centre is also focused on training the next generation of thought leaders for the sector.”
The research is being carried out across three core themes:
- Alloy development - exploring new alloy compositions for ground engaging tools, ore chute liners and rock crushers using advanced materials characterisation techniques at Deakin University, the Australian Synchrotron and ANSTO’s OPAL reactor. This work is revealing the alloy structure with extraordinarily high resolution.
- Innovative manufacturing – both powder-bed and blown-powder 3D printing technologies are being used to manufacture cemented carbide components, with a high volume fraction of tungsten carbides and low porosity. The researchers are studying the microstructure, mechanical properties and wear resistance of these components.
- Modelling and systems understanding – Our researchers are using open source and commercial software packages to improve the components’ designs and predict their performance and lifetime. At the same time, we have identified new concepts for smart alloys and wear sensing devices, with applications throughout the METS sector.
The centre welcomes enquiries on wear testing of materials, as well as material selection for METS applications. Opportunities are also available for collaboration within the mineAlloy Centre and beyond. If you are interested, please visit: www.mineAlloy.com.au