Delivering Advanced Materials to the Global Economy
technical textiles & nonwoven association
Past Events
Technology Clinic – Lightweighting using Textiles and Fibres

Achieving more with less resources especially input materials, labour to manufacture, energy use throughout a products lifecycle (and for recycling or disposal) will be increasingly important as “lifecycle thinking” is applied to all forms of manufactured products and services.  Lightweighting is often an effective strategy to achieve this outcome.


Lightweighting – simply defined as reducing the weight of a product or structure usually reduces the amount of materials consumed, or going to waste; the amount of energy, chemicals or water consumed during manufacture; the energy required to transport the final product; or the energy consumed during use. (Where the product needs to move – e.g. an aircraft, motor vehicle or robot – the consumption of resources is even more critical).


For example, raw material costs can represent as much as 70% of the cost of nonwoven roll goods.  Hence achieving similar or better functionality and performance using less input materials can significantly alter the economics of production.


Textiles and fibres are essential materials in this paradigm.


This technology clinic will present a report that provides an overview of lightweighting using textiles and fibres. This report is intended to bridge the gap in knowledge and open the field for discussion and interaction between the various actors along a product’s lifecycle –  enabling them to better respond to the changing marketplace.


This event will include a 2 hour tour of the Toyota plant.


Registration includes morning tea and lunch and the tour of the Toyota plant.

Thursday, 21st March 2013
Toyota Australia, Altona North Victoria
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
registration fee
Sarah King: Leader Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative, Future Manufacturing Flagship, CSIRO
Sarah leads CSIRO initiatives in sustainable manufacturing and innovation within the Future Manufacturing Flagship. The goal of her work is to incubate cross disciplinary projects that address resource efficiency, for the benefit of Australian manufacturers. Sarah’s group focuses on projects that include; zero waste/closed loop processes, life cycle assessment, industrial ecology, e-waste and design for manufacturing. Recently Sarah worked with CSIRO Futures to develop Megatrends for the Australian Chemicals and Plastics Industry. Sarah is an active member of the WMAA Victorian Industrial Ecology Working Group.

Sarah’s background is varied, having worked for innovative public and private organisations in Australia and New Zealand. Sarah has over thirteen years experience working in the forestry, agriculture, IT, manufacturing and R&D sectors.
Global megatrends - Our Future World: Global megatrends that will change the way we live
CSIRO recently released its Global megatrends 2012 revision, Our Future World: Global megatrends that will change the way we live”. This document presents a narrative of the future constructed from six interlinked megatrends that are anticipated to play out over the next 20 years. Sarah will provide an overview of each megatrend. She will also review how megatrends can be applied as a strategic tool, drawing on the work undertaken by CSIRO for the Prime Minister's Taskforce on Manufacturing and Australian Chemicals and Plastics Sector. Lastly, Sarah will briefly review how the CSIRO megatrends could affect the Australian Textile and Fibre industry - from product design through to the business models required to deliver products and services.
Co presenter - Dr Tony Pierlot: Project Leader, CSIRO Materials Science & Engineering's Fibre Science & Engineering Program
Dr Pierlot has 20 years of research experience at CSIRO undertaking industry focused research, and in large leading multidisciplinary teams. Armed with an undergraduate degree in chemistry and material science Dr Pierlot started his professional career as a Microwave Spectroscopist after completing an Honours and Ph.D thesis in this field of research. He joined CSIRO’s Division of Wool Technology in 1992 to work on a project to improve the wrinkle recovery of pure wool fabrics, a complex problem requiring a fundamental understanding of the structure, material science, chemistry and textile attributes of the wool fibre. His research has extended to include the chemistry and material science of high performance fibres for ballistic protection.

Dr Pierlot is currently project leader of a multidisciplinary, multi-organisational project being conducted under the Defence Materials Technology Centre to improve the fragmentation protection and functional performance of combat uniforms.

Dr Pierlot has contributed to 19 scientific papers in refereed journals (~700 citations) and encyclopaedias and numerous confidential and industry reports; he is also co-inventor on 1 international patent and 2 provisional patents.
Lightweighting using Textiles and Fibres
Reductions in input materials, labour to manufacture, energy use through a product’s lifecycle, and designing for recycling or sustainable disposal are key requirements to achieve more with less. Lightweight materials providing strength or stiffness without weight are often a key requirement. Tony will present the findings of his report - an overview of lightweighting using textiles and fibres m - including auto and aero applications, pressure vessels and piping.
Co presenter - Dr Niall Finn, Senior Research Scientist
Dr Niall Finn graduated in Physics at the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom (UK) and went on to complete a doctorate at the University of Essex, UK. He has researched nuclear fusion at the Rutherford Laboratories (UK) and then at The University of Sydney, New South Wales (NSW), Australia.
Dr Finn joined CSIRO in 1991 and currently leads research on, nonwoven textiles, advanced fibrous materials, nanocomposite fibres, fibre reinforced composites and textile processing.
Dr Finn has contributed to many fibre and textile projects, including quality control instrumentation, online monitoring systems, spinning technology (including Solospun) and the use of large textile covers to protect drinking water storages.
Dr Finn’s research on advanced fibrous materials makes use of a bi-component synthetic fibre extruder, which produces filaments containing two polymers chosen for their complementary properties. For example, one component might provide a strong core, while the other might provide anti-microbial properties on the outside of the filament.
Textiles and Fibres for Lightweighting
Dr Finn will co-present the findings of his report - an overview of lightweighting using textiles and fibres - including auto and aero applications, pressure vessels and piping.