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Carbon composites manufacturer Quickstep announces that it is fast-tracking commercialisation of its patented Resin Spray Transfer (RST) technology for the global automotive industry. This new technology, developed in Australia , was partly funded by an AusIndustry Climate Ready Grant.
Quickstep’s RST technology meets industry’s three key manufacturing objectives: it allows strong vehicle parts to be produced at high speed, low cost and with a high quality finish. This innovative ‘robotised’ process fully automates production of lightweight carbon fibre composite car panels so they can be made in minutes and at very low cost compared to other intensive methods. RST enables car parts to be mass-produced with a high quality finish direct off the mould, a major improvement on existing carbon-fibre processes. The use of lightweight materials in cars is increasingly a battleground for car manufacturers, driven by legislation in Europe and the US to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. About two-thirds of the energy needed to move a car is determined by weight, so the substantial weight savings available from using ultra-light, ultra-strong carbon fibre composite panels allow engines to be smaller, reducing fuel consumption and paving the way for mass adoption of affordable hybrid , electric and convent ional cars with composite components . Technical achievementParts manufactured using the RST technology have shown that they maintain surface finish, even after the extreme environmental ageing tests required for high-end “ super cars .” They do not show ’ print through ’ or other defects after painting and ageing . Discussions underwayQuickstep is in discussions with several leading global automotive manufacturers with a view to manufacturing panels using RST technology under licence. The company is pursuing large-volume production tests in cooperation with industrial partners in Germany, including Audi. Research and development of Quickstep’s RST technology was partly funded by a $2. 5 million Climate Ready Grant from the Australian Federal Government.More information: www.quickstep.com.au