19 November 2007
19 November 2007
Quickstep Holdings’ patent application No. 10/204938 in the United States covering the melding aspect of the Quickstep Process for composites manufacture has been awarded.
Melding is one of the most important features of Quickstep’s technology, allowing multiple composite components to be effectively ‘melted and welded’ together without the use of adhesives, bolts or rivets. The resultant structure has no physical difference or separating surface between the two joined parts and is homogeneous with the surrounding composite creating a new integrated part. Quickstep say that as a result, the process confers greater flexibility of design and potentially greatly reduced processing costs for the manufacturer. .
Quickstep’s CEO, Mr Nick Noble, said patent protection for the melding aspect of the Quickstep Process in the US represented an important expansion of the Company’s intellectual property portfolio.
“If melding can be developed to its fullest potential there could be opportunities for Quickstep’s Melding process to create integrated structures such as aircraft wings, bridges or cars with no secondary bonding or additional fasteners.”
“North America has the world’s largest aerospace manufacturing sector, as well as being the largest global producer of composite materials,” he said. “This patent will ensure we have commercially effective patent protection in place.”
Quickstep has been working with a number of key North American companies through its ‘North American Quickstep Center of Excellence’ located at Dayton, Ohio, including development work for a number of aerospace groups.
The patent application covering the “melding” production process was formally granted by the Australian Patent Office in 2006 and is now in force in Australia, and the equivalent patent has also been issued in China. Corresponding patent applications have been made and are currently undergoing examination in Europe, South Korea, Brazil and Israel, while a patent application has also been made in Japan and is awaiting examination.
Ceramicx, Ireland, has completed an 1800 m2 expansion to its production facility, doubling capacity for the manufacture of infrared heating equipment for the composites industry.
Solvay has inaugurated a new centre in Wrexham, UK, for manufacturing structural adhesives and surfacing films for the aerospace market.
The new laboratory facilities of recently founded TPAC (ThermoPlastic composites Application Centre) were opened by Anka Mulder, President of Saxion University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands, on 14 September.