We leverage our proprietary expertise in AIM methodology and other cutting-edge principles in order to significantly reduce the time, risk and cost of our material design and development projects.

  • Design and Development Concepts
  • Design Prototype Demonstration
  • QuesTek - A Company to Watch per Advanced Materials Process

Accelerated Insertion of Materials (AIM)

The introduction of new materials into engineered products, especially for mission critical service such as aerospace or energy, can involve numerous steps and production runs in order to qualify the material, develop statistically-driven properties used by design engineers, and incorporate new design data into governing engineering codes and standards.

Any failures to accurately and repeatedly achieve material properties at full-scale production levels can be quite costly and time-consuming.

In order to minimize these risks and costs, we apply our rigorous stage-gate design and development process to our Materials by Design® technology and our special expertise in Accelerated Insertion of Materials (AIM) and other tools.

AIM Program Overview

QuesTek was a leading contributor to the AIM program, a strategic initiative spearheaded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

The AIM program initiative created a new materials development methodology that accelerates the insertion of new materials in order to achieve parity with the engine/platform development/design cycles. Accomplishments of the AIM program include:

  • Establish design-driven material requirements by tightly coupling design and materials activities and tools.
  • Providing earlier information (with confidence bounds) to designers throughout the development cycle.
  • Controlling the performance, producibility, and cost of materials.
  • Reducing risks of new material insertion risk while also decreasing costly, time-consuming data generation.
  • Creating a knowledge base and tool kit for designers that links with computational design tools.
  • Using AIM in Ferrium S53® Development.

Leveraging Our Proprietary AIM Expertise to Reduce Risks and Costs

We use our unique expertise in AIM methodology to reduce risks and costs to our clients during material design and development efforts.

For example, we used our AIM expertise to fine-tune the material composition and processing of Ferrium S53 in order to achieve the necessary A-basis Ultimate Tensile Strength of at least 280.0 ksi (a very key design goal, with 279.9 ksi or less being a failure) during the detailed design and development.

Our AIM analysis successfully anticipated process scale-up behavior, and employed data from three production-scale heats to fine-tune processing in order to meet the specified 280.0 ksi design allowable property, which was subsequently validated at 10 production-scale heats (with data reflected in the MMPDS Handbook). 


Relevant files


  • AeroMat 2007

    Probabilistic Property Prediction of Ultra High Strength Corrosion-Resistant Steel - A presentation detailing QuesTek's use of AIM to predict Ferrium® S53® properties