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NCC to Enhance Quickstep Process with Nano Technology

08 January 2007

The National Composite Center (NCC) will receive funds from the State of Ohio to launch a program that will fuse two key technologies to give aerospace and automotive manufacturers critical material performance advantages.

The funds are part of an umbrella award that helped to establish the Center for Multifunctional Polymer Nanomaterials and Devices (CMPND) at NCC in 2005. Managed by the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), NCC supports CMPND with its commercialization capabilities.

In collaboration with UDRI, NCC is teaming with Ashland Performance Materials (a division of Ashland, Inc.), Owens Corning, Ohio State University and WebCore Technologies Inc., to take material produced with Quickstep to a higher level of performance by modifying it with nano particles. Quickstep, a unique moulding process, was unveiled in October when Quickstep Technologies Pty Ltd (a subsidiary of Quickstep Holdings Limited) established its North American Quickstep Center of Excellence at NCC’s Dayton Campus for Advanced Materials Technologies (DC-AMT).

The Quickstep process uses fluid-filled, balanced pressure, heated floating mold technology for the curing, partial curing and joining of composite materials. The process can use thermoset and certain thermoplastic prepregs as well as wet resin/dry fiber to produce superior composite parts that feature improved strength, stiffness, surface finish and appearance while achieving aerospace grade void contents of less than two percent.

“Quickstep has a much faster cycle time than normal aerospace autoclave processes,” said Harry Couch, NCC Technical Consultant. “The use of nano particles will allow us to take the advantages already provided by Quickstep to the next level by improving shear strength and toughness in aerospace and automotive applications. The first application for this nano-enhanced material will be personal protection devices.”






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