Off-the-shelf out-of-autoclave production system

Quickstep has developed QS-E250, an off-the-shelf version of its out-of-autoclave composites manufacturing system.

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Quickstep Holdings Ltd. (North Coogee, Australia) has available for license its patented Quickstep Process for composites manufacturing with the introduction of the QS-E250, the company’s first turnkey, off-the-shelf production system. Designed with a number of enhancements to provide customers with a standardized product, the system is said to offer a streamlined, automated manufacturing solution. To date, all Quickstep machines have been custom built for research and development purposes. The out-of-autoclave manufacturing technique uses a fluid-based technology to compact and cure molded composites. It works by trapping the laminate within a rigid or semirigid mold that floats in a heat transfer fluid (HTF). The mold and laminate are separated from the circulating HTF by a flexible membrane or bladder. The HTF can be rapidly heated and cooled to facilitate cure. The new machine operates on the same technical principles and has the same basic features as past models, but key enhancements include more precise control over the ramp rates and a faster response to exothermic reaction. The prototype machine was developed with the support of a German-based company that has significant expertise in developing heating and cooling equipment for the molding industry and substantial experience in building custom-made manufacturing equipment.