All natural fibres have a hierarchical structure consisting of micro and nano scale fibrils. The fibrils once extracted from natural fibres have excellent properties due to ultrafine dimensions and ability to be used in the form of suspensions. The applications include advanced surface treatments, high strength composites and biomedical applications. In this project protein based natural fibres such as wool, animal hair (alpaca, cashmere etc.) will be studied for extracting fibrils and developing formulations from a wide range of applications, including advanced textile functional treatments, high performance materials and papers, packaging, food industry and cosmetics. This project is part of the Industrial Technology Training Centre on Green Manufacturing Technology supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC).
The project will adapt green chemistry-based manufacturing systems and principles, develop sustainable applications, and explore use of protein fibre waste for producing such fibrils. The project will take advantage of expertise and facilities of industry partner HeiQ, with the final objective of developing a pipeline of commercial products and applications based on the fundamental knowledge and platform technology developed through the project. HeiQ, a specialty chemicals company based in Geelong Australia, is focused on the research, development, and commercialisation of fibre-based materials and formulations for achieving innovative functionalities in a variety of industries and applications.