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Quickstep plans expansion in Dayton to meet aviation, automotive market needs

Even in the high tech world of aerospace manufacturing, you still need to kick the tires occasionally.

Quickstep Composites, based in Australia, is expanding its North American headquarters in Dayton to provide a space for potential aviation and, eventually, auto industry customers to observe their unique process of curing composite materials without using an autoclave.

"It's our test drive facility," says Dale Brosius, North American chief operating officer of Quickstep Technologies.

Quickstep has signed a partnership and license agreement with Vector Composites Inc. of Dayton for the use of its Quickstep Process for development and manufacturing of advanced composite components. The products are aimed primarily at the aviation industry.

The process uses a manufacturing method that does not require the extreme conditions necessary in the traditional autoclave process, which has been the industry standard for manufacturing composites for many years. Eliminating an autoclave can save as much as 50 percent on the cost of the process, says Brosius, while still producing reliable mission-critical parts for high tech users such as the military.

Vector and Quickstep were recently awarded a major United States Air Force Small Business Innovation Research Phase II program grant, expected to total about $4 million over a 27-month period.

Vector is the lead contractor and Quickstep is the principal subcontractor to conduct the joint research program, which will focus on process qualification of bismaleimide and epoxy resin carbon fiber reinforced composite materials using the Quickstep Process for application to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

Over the next three to four years, Quickstep expects to hire 20 to 25 new employees in areas such as engineering, technical support, supervision and sales, says Brosius, adding that the company sees its presence in Dayton as a long-term partnership.

"It makes sense for us to be here because there is a fair number of composites companies right here," he says.

Source: Dale Brosius, Quickstep Technologies
Writer: Val Prevish

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