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February 05, 2011

Computational Material Design

Questek innovations develops nanosteel and alloys of titanium and other materials.

Questek computationally designs materials to directly meet user-defined material needs by using our proprietary Materials by Design expertise and technology. They estimate that they reduce development times by as much as 50+% and costs by 70+% as compared to traditional material development methods.



The founder is Greg Olson the father of Quantum Steel.

Ferrium M54 is a premium-quality steel that offers ultra high strength and toughness, having an ultimate tensile strength of 294 ksi, yield strength of 250 ksi, and fracture toughness of 110 ksi square root inch as typical properties. QuesTek computationally designed and developed M54 to be a cost-effective alternative to alloys such as AerMet® 100 (in part by limiting high-cost alloying elements such as cobalt), while meeting or exceeding all key properties. Applications of this class of alloys can include aircraft landing gear and arresting tailhooks, shock struts, tow bars, drive shafts, actuators, blast containment devices, fasteners, golf club face inserts and other highly-loaded components.

Questek has Ferrium C61 Ferrium C61 is a premium-quality steel that offers high fracture toughness, high fatigue strength, high core strength, high temperature resistance and high hardenability, and which can achieve surface (i.e. case) hardness up to 60-62 Rockwell “C” (HRC) via carburizing. It was designed to permit use of low-pressure (vacuum) carburization technology with a direct low pressure gas quench. Applications can include armor plate, actuators, gears, driveshafts, and power transmission components where durability, compactness, weight savings, high temperature resistance or high surface fatigue resistance is valued

Questek is developing a forward rotor shaft will be re-designed to be made of C61 and one or more prototype shafts will be produced. It is expected that the weight of this large shaft can be reduced by 15-25%, because the fatigue strength and key static mechanical properties of C61 core material are more than 30% greater than those of incumbent alloy 9310. C61 can also tolerate much higher operating temperatures (such as may occur in an emergency “oil-out” situation) because its tempering temperature is 600°F greater than that of 9310.

Manufacturing operations such as forging, thermal processing, and machining will be optimized for this part during this project. Total thermal processing and manufacturing operations are expected to be simplified because C61 was specifically designed to use modern vacuum carburizing technology and combine the carburization and austenization steps, thus eliminating numerous manufacturing steps. The very high
hardenability of C61 also permits a mild gas quench, thus reducing part distortion and allowing less grind stock and subsequent machining. C61 is also highly resistant to grinding burn damage during production, due to its high tempering temperature.

Applications for C61 beyond helicopter rotor shafts can include other integral drive shafts, gear assemblies, and power transmission components in high-temperature, high-performance, or weight- or space-sensitive applications, such as aerospace, racing, off-road, commercial and military vehicles.

Other Alloys

Aluminum based alloys

Thermally Stable Cobalt-based Alloy

Copper based Cuprium* alloys Questek has developed an improved beryllium-free, high-strength copper alloy.

Nickel based alloys Questek has developed an oxidation- and creep-resistant alloy for next-generation, high-temperature, advanced ultra-super critical coal-fired power plant boilers, which by operating at much higher temperature can significantly increase power plant efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.

nobium based alloys Questek has developed oxidation- and creep-resistant niobium-based superalloy for use in the hottest part (i.e. the first blade stages) of next generation, high-temperature power-generating turbines. Increasing firing temperatures can increase the efficiency and reduce the emissions of next-generation power plants

Titanium based alloys Developed a new low-cost, castable titanium alloy.


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