An industrial partnership reveals a new process for manufacturing composites


Composite profiles are an alternative to steel, aluminum and wood due to their non-corrosive, strong, lightweight, high strength and neutral electromagnetic nature. Image: USQ.

Wagners Composite Fiber Technologies (CFT) and Allnex Composites have partnered with the University of South Queensland in a $ 10 million cooperative research centers program, to reinvent a foundational composite manufacturing production process from from design to mass production.

Historically, Wagners glued two square channels to produce rectangular sections for use as joists in structures such as bridges and walkways. However, sanding and gluing was an expensive and time consuming process.

After years of research and development, Wagners CFT is now able to produce large, high-performance hollow rectangular composite profiles using a new pull-winding process at its composites manufacturing plant in Toowoomba. This technology will also be replicated for manufacturing at their new facility in Texas, USA.

These composite profiles are an alternative to steel, aluminum and wood due to their non-corrosive, strong, lightweight, high strength and neutral electromagnetic nature.

Wagners New Generation Building Materials Executive Managing Director Michael Kemp said that through research and development, the partnership with the University of South Queensland and Allnex has produced a cost-effective and efficient solution.

“This is an innovation that has taken our pultrusion technology to the next level, ensuring that we are at the forefront of global composite manufacturing,” said Kemp.

“The new process not only saves time, money and environmental waste, but also, by optimizing joist and shape, improves bending performance by approximately 35%.

“This project demonstrates our commitment to research and development. We continue to invest in new product lines and production efficiency to ensure the continued growth and expansion of our Composite Fiber Technologies business. “

Professor Peter Schubel of the University of South Queensland, executive director of the Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences, said the university’s long-standing relationship with Wagners offers great potential for the industry.

“Our interests are well aligned and the ongoing collaboration means that we will continue to contribute to the civil composites industry, as well as other high growth areas of composite pultrusion such as telecommunications,” said Schubel.

Learn more about the University’s Center for Future Materials here.

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