Quickstep Partnership to Produce Composite Pipe

Quickstep Holdings Ltd. (North Coogee, Australia) and Australia-based integrated piping solutions provider Vortex Pipes Ltd. (Canning Vale, Western Australia) have joined forces to develop and market a new generation of high-strength, corrosion-resistant pipe that will be manufactured using Quickstep’s patented com

Quickstep Holdings Ltd. (North Coogee, Australia) and Australia-based integrated piping solutions provider Vortex Pipes Ltd. (Canning Vale, Western Australia) have joined forces to develop and market a new generation of high-strength, corrosion-resistant pipe that will be manufactured using Quickstep’s patented composites manufacturing process.

Under the name QuickPipes, the joint venture (JV) will focus on development of high-end composite pressure pipes for infrastructure, mining and oil and gas applications. It initially will be established on an 80:20 (Vortex:Quickstep) basis, with Quickstep contributing its technology and know-how, as well as a Quickstep QS20 composites production machine. Vortex (previously known as ShieldLiner) will contribute its composites pipe-lining and manufacturing technology, industry contacts and know-how in the fields of pipe cleaning, pipe rehabilitation and fiberglass pipe provisioning.

The first stage of the JV will explore the use of the Quickstep Process to cure various pipes using a range of fibers and resins. The companies anticipate that use of Quickstep’s patented fluid-based technology during this period of research will lead to manufactured pipe with improved strength and corrosion resistance as well as reduced manufacturing costs through faster processing times. This will be followed by the construction of the first QuickPipes manufacturing plant. In addition, due to the portability of Quickstep’s manufacturing equipment, QuickPipes would provide customers with the ability to manufacture and “meld” sections of pipe onsite, rather than having to ship finished product from the manufacturer.

Initial Proof of Concept (POC) carbon fiber pipes have already been produced by VCAMM (Quickstep’s joint venture partner at Deakin University) in conjunction with Vortex and reportedly show good strength-to-weight ratios when compared to current offerings and traditional steel- and concrete-reinforced pipes.

“Vortex is receiving increasing enquiries from customers interested in alternatives to traditional steel pipe, who face large cost increases due to the increasing raw material costs,” says Trevor Gosatti, managing director of Vortex. Quickstep’s managing director, Nick Noble, believes QuickPipes had the potential to open a significant new global market for the application of Quickstep’s manufacturing technology.