QuesTek’s Chief Science Officer Prof. Gregory B. Olson and his colleagues imagined, created and proved the field of integrated computational materials engineering (ICME). This disruptive technology and approach offers a better way of addressing today’s demanding material needs and opportunities.
Materials by Design®
Is there a better way to create new materials than by trial-and-error, combinatorial experiments, or other traditional time-consuming techniques? Can someone or some company really design and optimize materials from the ground up? These were disruptive ideas and questions that Prof. Gregory B. Olson of Northwestern University and others began addressing about 30 years ago, when the field of integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) was conceived. QuesTek Innovations LLC (co-founded by Dr. Olson) answers many of these questions in the affirmative.
QuesTek’s Materials by Design technology and business methodology embodies the disruptive concept that new materials can in fact be designed from the bottom-up using simulation tools in order to meet specific top-down-driven property design goals. We minimize costly and time-consuming experimentation by coupling physics-based, computationally-enabled expertise and design tools with advanced characterization techniques in order to rapidly focus on a few iterative prototypes. We work across a wide variety of materials and rapidly commercialize our inventions by licensing our IP to OEMs, producers or processors; our commercially-available alloys include Ferrium® S53®, Ferrium M54™, Ferrium C61™ and Ferrium C64™. We apply an integrated approach to design, develop, insert and qualify materials, working closely with key partners, in order fully apply ICME and yield the key benefits sought by U.S. President Obama’s Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) and related efforts.
We design, develop, qualify and insert new materials into applications far quicker and at far less expense than traditional trial-and-error methods (reducing development times by as much as 50+% and costs by 70+%) in order to reduce capital, processing, operating or maintenance costs, or improve equipment performance, environmental protection or competitive supply. Our approach offers many benefits to our Commercial Clients, Governmental Clients, and Other Clients.
Foundation and Future
Our models, theories and concepts are built on the pioneering work of Dr. Olson and others, including the results of the Steel Research Group (SRG), a 25-year-old, interdisciplinary, academic/industry consortium housed at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, USA. QuesTek now leads the development of many new, highly-sophisticated design and modeling tools, simulation programs and technologies, and advancing the forefront of applied computational material science technology.
Materials as a System: System Design Charts
We design new materials by analyzing them as a system of inter-connected subsystems which address user-defined performance objectives, and which are mapped to specific property targets (determined by the alloy microstructure), which are in turn defined by material chemistry and processing paths. When illustrated in the form of a “System Design Chart” or “Olson Chart”, flow-block diagrams are used to outline the major processing – microstructure – properties – performance relationships for a given material system. These diagrams are used for many purposes, including initially to determine our design goals and address input from our client (i.e., “Voice of the Customer”). As we work through our proven stage-gate design and development process to design new materials, we identify multiple levels of material microstructural hierarchy and link them to corresponding properties and processing steps. A System Design Chart for QuesTek’s Ferrium S53 is illustrated below as one example.
- Computational Materials Design and Engineering in Material Science and Technology 2009 Vol 25 No 4 878.93KB