Dr Stanger’s work revolves around the utilisation (and preparation) of coal. This transformation of coal into valued feed materials and higher value carbon products has led to active projects on the manufacture of carbon fibre and specialty foam, which could have a range of military applications. Carbon fibre is used in aerospace and transport vehicles to reduce weight and improve composite material strength. Carbon foams have low density and high thermal stability making them a potential material for rocket manufacture as insulative housing for electronics.

Competitive advantage

  • Investigating the possibility of transforming low emission coal directly into a carbon fibre material

Successful applications of research

  • Coal-based foams have been shown to be sufficiently conductive for electroplating and could serve as electrodes in battery technology
  • Carbon foam can used as electro-magnetic shielding material which could have defence applications in reducing radar signatures


  • Australian Coal Research Limited
  • New Zealand Institute for Minerals to Material Research
  • NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Capabilities and facilities

  • The current coal to foam project is at feasibility stage, examining the basic properties of coal-based carbon foams
  • The Greyfoam project is investigating the use of coals to make larger carbon solid products for use in energy storage, aerospace and construction applications

Further reading on: Material Sciences and Manufacturing

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