Manufacturing News

Major US company to help Quickstep enter defence industries

Australian company Quickstep Composites has singed an agreement with Vector Composites to jointly promote the Quickstep Process for system applications and customers in the aerospace and defence industries of North America.

The Quickstep Process is an Out-Of-Autoclave (OOA) polymer composite curing process that is said to use lower-cost material technologies for the high-speed manufacture of advanced composite, bonded metal, and fibre metal laminated structural components.

Under the terms of the agreement, Vector and Quickstep will collaborate to create business opportunities in funded research and development (R&D), prototype development and demonstration of advanced composite structural components, and aerospace production programs.

The activities will include joint presentations to potential customers and participation at industry trade shows, plus development of comparative material properties via the Quickstep Process for comparison to other processes, leading to prototype and commercial production contracts.

The teaming agreement resulted from Vector and Quickstep’s success in winning a major United States Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II program, expected to total about US$4 million in funding over a 27-month period.

Vector is the lead contractor and Quickstep is the principal subcontractor to conduct the joint research program, which will focus on process qualification of bismaleimide and epoxy resin carbon fibre reinforced composite materials using the Quickstep Process for application to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

Industrial partners supporting the research program include Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and ITT Integrated Structures.

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