Our Projects

Curing technology

Project description and overview:

Quickstep and AMGC have undertaken a project to develop a low-cost carbon fibre composite fender aimed for the European automotive market. This project has seen Quickstep qualify to supply composite fenders via a joint venture entity in Europe to satisfy requirements for just-in-time manufacture within 200km of their assembly plant. The concept has since attracted interest from composite material suppliers and aerospace manufacturers.

Quickstep is now seeking to adapt the Qure process for aerospace applications. The proposed ‘AeroQure’ solution will be an enhancement of the technology developed for the automotive industry in the previous AMGC project with Quickstep. In this follow-on project, the system pressure will be increased from 0.8 bar, used in the Qure process for Automotive components, to 2.5 bar in order to achieve the level of porosity and void content required for aerospace components while keeping production cycle times closer to typical production rates for sports and luxury cars.

Out of Autoclave (OOA) technologies promise those cost reductions and higher rates of unit production. The main OOA technologies the industry is currently focusing on still require significant cycle times or be some way from reaching technology maturity. These technologies have the potential to be much faster, but currently they involve significant risk and are slower than conventional autoclave technologies.

A closed mould, high rate curing technology like Quickstep’s AeroQure 2.5 to be developed in this project, has the potential to reduce price per aerospace component by 25-35% due to a faster and more automated process and a lower capital cost amortisation.

Contributions:

Government Funds: $700,000 | Industry: $1,136,000 | In-Kind: $947,000

Project Participants