In Summary

  • Research to develop advanced surface engineered coatings for naval vessels recognised at DMTC awards.
  • New approach to identifying high calibre SMEs to participate in the Joint Strike Fighter supply chain receives capability improvement award.

Swinburne University of Technology research aimed at minimising damage to Navy vessels caused by marine environments has been recognised at the annual Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) awards.

The DMTC’s highest accolade, for research collaboration, went to Swinburne’s Associate Professor Scott Wade.

His colleague, Dr Andrew Ang, received an industry partnership award.

Biofouling is the settlement, attachment and growth of organisms on surfaces submerged in water.


Advanced surface engineered coatings for naval vessels

The research team is looking at how to limit corrosion and biological fouling or biofouling, where organic matter such as barnacles grows on equipment immersed in water.

The researchers’ objective is to develop and evaluate new advanced surface engineered coatings with superior biofouling and corrosion performance.

“If we can address this problem, a great deal of money and maintenance downtime could be saved,” says Associate Professor Wade.

The research team has been conducting experiments at defence test sites around Australia. The work is a collaboration with key industry and research partners MacTaggart Scott Australia, United Surface Technologies and the Defence Science and Technology Group.

Associate Professor Wade's team also took out the best poster award at the DMTC conference.

Titanium roughing project

The DMTC’s capability improvement award went to a project team led by Swinburne’s Dr Suresh Palanisamy.

The team includes researchers from Swinburne, the University of Queensland and industry partner BAE Systems Australia.

Working with BAE Systems Australia, Dr Palanisamy ran a benchmarking trial in the titanium machining industry. The trial saw a transfer of machining knowledge to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have little experience in this work.

Similar benchmarking activities have been carried out with the support of Sutton Tools, Seco Tools Australia, RUAG Australia, Bauer Engineering, Marand Precision Engineering and Levett Engineering.

The project created a new approach to identifying high calibre SMEs to participate in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) supply chain. Subsequently, Diemould Axiom was selected based on quality, cost, and schedule. Axiom has been successfully delivering the JSF components to BAE Systems since late 2015.