Carbon fibre components maker Quickstep expects a production order from a leading global car maker within weeks.
Quickstep says the order for lightweight carbon fibre engine component parts is expected to begin production in early 2016.
“Under the contract, we will manufacture carbon fibre components in a comparatively short time frame,” Quickstep managing director David Marino said on Thursday.
“Importantly, this demonstrates our serial production capabilities and represents early success for the first phase of our automotive strategy.”
Mr Marino said that over the next 18 months, Quickstep would target small-volume automotive projects, of about 500 to 2,000 parts per annum, as the company increases capacity to secure larger projects.
Sydney-based Quickstep makes carbon fibre composite components – parts made of carbon fibre in combination with other materials – for the aerospace and defence industries.
The company is expanding to the automotive sector and has established a dedicated automotive division based at Deakin University in Geelong.
Carbon fibre composites are very light and very strong and offer greater strength for weight compared to metal.
Quickstep has a patented manufacturing process called Qure which enables carbon fibre parts to be made quicker and cheaper.
The technology cures carbon fibre components using liquids instead of gas.
The company sells patented “Qure” machines and processes as well as making carbon fibre parts.
Shares in Quickstep were 0.75 cents, or 4.35 per cent, higher at 18 cents at 1130 AEST.