Australia's Quickstep Holdings Ltd. is taking more international steps, with agreements to show off its composites manufacturing capabilities in the United States and India.
The moves come just months after the Perth-based technology company raised A$6 million (US$4.58 million) through an initial public stock offering to finance worldwide commercialization of its composites manufacturing technology.
In the U.S., the company is teaming with the National Composite Center in Kettering, Ohio, to create a center that will allow manufacturers to test and prototype its process.
In India, Quickstep has joined a three-way consortium in a venture to manufacture composites for the rail industry.
The two locations join other Quickstep operations in Australia, Japan and England. Quickstep also recently purchased boat manufacturer Flatout Boats Pty. Ltd. to further boost commercial use of its technology.
``The centers ... have been very effective in providing a conduit to bring the Quickstep process directly to the doorstep of potential end users, including material suppliers, producers of components for heavy trucks, commercial and general aviation aircraft, personal watercraft and industrial and infrastructure products,'' Chief Executive Officer Nick Noble said in an April 27 press release.
Quickstep uses a heated floating mold technology to improve the curing and joining process for composite materials.
Both India and the U.S. will have access to Quickstep equipment and personnel to help lead use of the system, which is available for use with a variety of composites.
The Dayton site is set to open by September.
Noble said the National Composite Center will buy a Quickstep QS20 machine to show the process to potential North American customers.
``The NCC site provides several complementary technologies, including comprehensive closed molding, rapid fiber preforming, design optimization and long-fiber reinforced thermoplastics,'' he said.
In India, Quickstep has signed a memorandum of understanding with New Delhi-based composite components group NTF (India) Pvt. Ltd. and Japanese materials supplier Avanti Corp. Ltd. to create a manufacturing base in New Delhi using Quickstep technology.
The first market targeted for the venture is India's mass transit light rail system, such as New Delhi's expanding commuter train network. The companies plan to combine their expertise to make composite parts such as interior rail coach panels.
In the future, the companies intend to offer products for the medical and wind energy industries in India.
``The strong economic growth and rapid expansion in infrastructure [in India] is creating significant opportunities, particularly for companies with manufacturing capabilities and technological expertise in the supply of advanced materials,'' Noble said.
Plastics News correspondent Kate Tilley contributed to this report.