New metal fabrication facility launched at Deakin

Image credit:

Deakin University has launched a next-gen metal fabrication facility at its Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM).

Dedicated to advanced metal development and 3D roll forming, the IFM Flexible Forming Facility will be used for proof-of-concept studies on the flexible roll forming process, rapid prototyping and the manufacture of complex profiles from hard-to-form materials.

Deakin University Deputy Vice Chancellor Research Professor Joe Graffam said the $1.5 million facility is capable of developing super-strong final products with applications across the automotive, rail and aerospace industries.

“The world-first IFM Flexible Forming Facility presents an exciting new opportunity for industry collaboration and research at Deakin University,” Professor Graffam said.

“Higher strength steels are increasingly being used in the automotive industry for the manufacture of lightweight structural and crash components and roll forming is more and more becoming the manufacturing process of choice for these hard-to-form material solutions.”

“Deakin is committed to the advancement of ideas that make a difference to the communities we serve through research and innovation. This new facility will extend our critical mass of dedicated and high-calibre researchers breaking boundaries in next generation manufacturing, strengthening our leadership in the international area in this important field.”

Supported by the Federal Government through the Australian Research Council (ARC), the new facility features a dynamic 3D roll forming process developed, patented and manufactured by German research partner data M Sheet Metal Solutions.

“I am pleased that Australian Research Council funding is supporting a rich ecosystem of manufacturing research expertise, a significant component of which is industry-led, at Deakin University,” said ARC Chief Executive Officer Professor Sue Thomas.

“Quality research infrastructure is a critical component of Australia’s research and development system. With this in mind, the ARC’s LIEF scheme is designed to enable researchers to participate in cooperative initiatives so that expensive infrastructure, equipment and facilities can be shared between higher education organisations and industry.”

“This funding has enabled Deakin University to leverage extensive support from an impressive array of collaborating industry partners to establish a research facility that promises to deliver major advances for Australian manufacturing of complex components for automotive, aerospace, truck and rail industries.”

Image credit: