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Credit: The Defence Science and Technology Group of Australia

Credit: The Defence Science and Technology Group of Australia

Australian Defence forges research partnership to advance 3-D printing of energetic materials

On Mar 2, Australian Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, announced that the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group) will partner with industry and academia to develop new technologies improving the safety and performance of explosives for Defence and industry.

DST Group is part of Australia's Department of Defence and is the second largest public-funded research and development (R&D) organisation in Australia. It is a national leader in safeguarding Australia by delivering valued scientific advice and innovative solutions for Defence and national security.

According to its Strategic Plan 2013-2018, DST Group is committed to continue serve as a valued adviser to the Australian Government and focus efforts towards future Defence and national security by being a collaborative partner and an innovation integrator.

The research partnership project will see DST Group working with several partners including Victorian-based defence research company DefendTex Pty Ltd, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Flinders University, and Cranfield University in the UK.

Minister Pyne said additive manufacturing or 3-D printing of energetic materials such as explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics has the potential to transform their performance and also offer significant logistical and cost benefits in their manufacture.

“This research could lead to the production of advanced weapons systems, which can be tailored for unique performance and purpose,” Minister Pyne said.

At the same time, the research also aims to allow broader access and more efficient and environmentally friendly manufacturing opportunities to Australian industry providing significant cost savings and competitive advantage for Defence, and industries such as mining construction.

A$2.6 million has been committed over two years through the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Program. The CRC Program is administered by AusIndustry, a division within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. It aims to foster high quality research to solve industry-identified problems through industry-led and outcome-focused collaborative research partnerships between industry entities and research organisations.

The CRC Program contains 2 funding streams: (1) CRCs to support medium to long term industry-led collaborative research and (2) CRC Projects (CRC-P’s) to support short term, industry-led collaborative research.

Minister Pyne congratulated all CRC project participants and looks forward to the research outcomes.

“These outcomes will have far-reaching civilian and Defence applications and contribute to the development of critical expertise in energetic manufacturing techniques in Australian industry,” said Minister Pyne.

Australian Defence has been forming R&D partnerships with the industry to enhance the capabilities of Defence. As reported earlier, a five-year research and development agreement between the Defence Science and Technology Group and CEA Technologies to develop new solutions in radar, communications, and electronic warfare has been announcedly recently.

“I welcome this great partnership which brings together our Defence scientists’ signal processing, electronic protection, tracking and data fusion capabilities with CEA Technologies’ active array and radar expertise,” Minister Pyne said.

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