The University of Southern Queensland has shared details of a newly-funded project to develop and commercialise fire retardant composite resins that could be used on wind turbine blades and other structures exposed to bushfires.
The project, led by Professor of High Performance Polymers Pingan Song, was awarded $440,000 in the recent round of Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grants, announced last month. It sees USQ partner with Ningbo MIRUO Electronic Technology and Allnex Composites Australia.
Song – who said he was “100 per cent confident” of the project’s success – and his team will develop what is described as “a new class of eco-friendly and cost-effective fire retardants” able to improve the performance “of unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) by creating a protective char layer while preserving the UPR’s bulk physical properties.”
“Moreover, we have already achieved some encouraging preliminary research results, which means we are already on the right track,” he said.
The project continues a five-year relationship between Allnex and USQ.
“The ultimate goal is for the technology to be used in many other constructions and infrastructures, including transport and power facilities,” added Song.
Song, who is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, recently published on fire retardant ceramic coatings for building materials inspired by lava.
Picture: University of Southern Queensland’s Professor Pingan Song (right) and Professor Xuesen Zeng (supplied)