Australia-based composites manufacturer Quickstep has made the first sale of its out-of-autoclave carbon composite curing system.

Quickstep says that it has secured a €4.5 million ($5.5 million) contract to provide its "Quickstep Process" solution to Russian composites manufacturer ORPE Technologiya. The company, in turn, will use it to produce large carbon-fibre shields for satellites during launches.

Rather than using large autoclaves to cure composites, the patented Quickstep process involves surrounding carbon composites with heated liquids. It says the process allows heat to be transferred into composite parts 25 times faster than conventional autoclaves.

The contract will be delivered over 18 months, and involve all parts of the organisation, Quickstep adds.

"This is a prestigious contract which reflects Quickstep's growing reputation in the aerospace sector, which requires the highest possible standards," says chief executive Philippe Odouard. "Our aerospace experience places us in a strong position for future sales."

Sydney-headquartered Quickstep is also a supplier of carbon composite materials for programmes including the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and C-130J Hercules. It also has partnerships with EADS, Northrop Grumman and the US Department of Defense.

Source: Flight International