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Welcome to the CSIRO Polymers! This site gives a history of the groups achievements and an overview of our capabilities and facilities. You can also read about our current research efforts.

CSIRO can provide bespoke turnkey solutions for polymer design and manufacture.

Polymer science at CSIRO has broad multidisciplinary capability in chemical synthesis with skills and expertise in design, synthesis, characterisation and process development.

Our Polymer Teams combines expertise in polymer chemistry, synthetic chemistry, polymer analysis and characterisation to create precisely engineered polymers. CSIRO research in polymer science includes world-leading capabilities in controlled free-radical polymerisation, reactive extrusion, condensation polymerisation, biomedical polymer synthesis and polymer processing. Our polymer capability is underpinned by our strength and track record in small molecule synthesis.

Polymerisation technologies

CSIRO Manufacturing offers a range of polymerisation methods and process technologies.


RAFT polymerisation technology is an established form of controlled free radical polymerisation. RAFT, short for Reversible Addition-Fragmentation chain Transfer, makes possible the rational design of well defined polymeric structures. It is amenable to a wide range of monomers and reaction conditions and provides access to polymers with unprecedented control over polymer size, composition and architecture. RAFT can be used for solution, emulsion and suspension polymerisations, and can be conducted batch-wise and continuously.


Anionic polymerisation is another form of controlled addition polymerisation of vinyl monomers, providing access to polymers with predicted molecular weights, narrow molecular weight distributions, and defined end-groups. CSIRO’s ability to perform anionic polymerisation using continuous processing methods (Flow Chemistry) removes the problem of batch-to-batch reproducibility encountered using batch processing.


Condensation polymerisation is a stepgrowth polymerisation process that can be used with non-vinylic monomers. CSIRO has used this technology to design and synthesise biostable and biodegradable polymers such as Elast-Eon™; a biocompatible polyurethane employed in the fabrication of medical implants and devices used in replacing biological tissues.