Conflux and Deakin begin nine-month aluminium alloy development project


Conflux Technology and Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials have announced a nine-month project developing new aluminium alloys for use in additively manufactured heat exchangers.

The project is supported by a $138,000 grant from the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre. 

Dr Qi Chao of Deakin said there is currently a limited range of materials for AM, and few of them suit production of heat exchangers.

“To remedy this, Conflux Technology’s team have drawn from their considerable experience in heat exchanger design and manufacturing to define the enhanced material properties they require to improve their product,” he said.

 “Using our rapid alloy development program, we can then deliver them the next generation of competitive and high-performance novel aluminium alloys for industrial application.”

Conflux – which is based at Deakin’s Manufutures innovation hub near the IFM – specialises in heat exchanger design and manufacture across a variety of industries. The company announced in October that it had successfully closed an $8.5 million Series A funding round to support its expansion.

Conflux CEO and founder Michael Fuller said improving heat transfer efficiency played an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and that it had been “a long-held ambition” to partner on this project with Deakin in service of that goal.

“The outcomes of this project will further reinforce Conflux Technology’s place at the pinnacle of heat transfer technologies enabled by additive manufacturing and consequently fortify Australia’s position as an advanced manufacturing nation,” he added.

Dr Matthew Young from IMCRC also spoke of the project in terms of impact on the nation’s manufacturing, and across a range of sectors.

“…It will enable an Australian manufacturing sovereign capability to produce products with improved performance, geometries and fabrication,” said Young.

 “As this project demonstrates, enabling research institutions and industry to build symbiotic relationships remains key to developing a world-leading Australian manufacturing industry.”

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