Australian company Quickstep Holdings has launched a research programme with the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing, designed to help the Perth-based firm break into the aerospace market with its new composites manufacturing method, writes Emma Kelly.

Quickstep has developed a fluid-based curing process that reduces the cost and time involved in composites production. The company says parts made using its process display apparent increases in thermal and adhesion performance, including improvements in resin toughness, impact strength and mechanical properties through a "better cure".

The research programme will examine the performance characteristics of components produced using the process, and has been prompted by questions from airframers Airbus and Boeing about differences between composites manufactured using Quickstep and traditional methods.

"If the programme demonstrates that the Quickstep process does deliver a fundamental improvement in the material structure at a microscopic level, this could unlock a high-potential market value in the aerospace industry, particularly in the construction of high-value aircraft primary structures," says managing director Nick Noble.

Source: Flight International