In the design and scale up of new alloys, QuesTek utilizes some of the world’s most sophisticated production, testing and characterization equipment located in our in-house laboratory, at local academic institutions (e.g., Northwestern University, Illinois Institute of Technology) and at other outside facilities (e.g., Argonne National Lab) and outside independent test labs.

Facilities & Resources

We operate from our wholly-owned, 12,000-ft2 facility, which contains offices, laboratories and equipment for alloy prototype production, and for material testing characterization. 

Our in-house equipment includes: 

  • Bühler MAM-1 compact arc-melter (3500°C capability; 10-20 gram capacity)
  • Atmospheric melter (1-2 kg capacity)
  • Six high temperature box furnaces with oil quench
  • Cryogenic treatment
  • Rockwell hardness and Vicker’s micro-hardness testing equipment
  • Singleton SCCH22 Salt Fog Chamber
  • Rising Step Load KISCC testing
  • Mounting press and automated polishing equipment
  • Hitachi S-4500 Scanning Electron Microscope
  • Microscopic equipment - Nikon Eclipse MA100 Microscope
  • Wet lab
  • Horizontal band saw
  • Chop saw
  • Precision saw

QuesTek has access to and regularly utilize Northwestern University’s Materials Science and Engineering facilities (< 1 mile away) such as:

  • Atomic Absorption Spectrometry
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy
  • Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy
  • Focused Ion Beam Microscopy
  • Dilatometry
  • Standard metallography and surface characterization equipment
  • Atom-Probe Tomography - identifies the characteristic structures and local compositions of materials at an atomic scale and in three dimensions.  
  • Local Electron Atom Probe (LEAP) - materials are pulled apart atom-by-atom, and then the dissected volume is reconstructed using advanced software

We are leaders in using nano-scale, three-dimensional atom-probe tomography to fully investigate nano-structured materials and nano-scale processes related to phase transformations, decomposition, internal interfaces and evolving microstructures.

QuesTek uses several key pieces of equipment at Illinois Institute of Technology (~one hour drive) including:

  • Gleeble 3500 Thermomechanical Simulator
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry
  • Electron Backscatter Diffraction

At Argonne National Lab (~one hour drive), QuesTek has access to a wide range of advanced equipment, including for example:

 Other outside manufacturing and test facilities:

QuesTek has developed strong working relationships with a wide range of small and large scale alloy producers, forging facilities, heat treat vendors, machining shops and others in order to produce new alloys and manufacture prototype and production-scale components.

We also work closely with other outside test facilities for:

  • Mechanical properties (tensile, fracture and impact toughness, creep, fatigue, etc)
  • Residual stresses from shot peening and other processing
  • Retained austenite
  • Chrome volatility
  • Oxidation resistance
  • Magnetic properties

In many projects we need to test and evaluate other very unique properties, and we work to identify the appropriate vendors.